On Solstice, my husband John and I headed into Seattle for our annual celebration with friends who’ve been gathering for more than 20 years now. As we headed across on the ferry, we watched the sun drop behind the Olympic Mountains behind us, the lights of Seattle glittering ahead, and I felt grateful for all the ways we celebrate the return of the light, somehow more welcome than ever this year.
Soon, we’ll once again gather in the living room of Anne and Cliff’s house in a circle, pass around the Solstice candle as we each share a poem, song or story. Some will share stories of a year of loss, others will pass out photographs of sunflowers, others will ask for healing for our beautiful and fragile earth. We’ll cry, laugh and eat together, then send each other out into the night with homemade jams and other gifts, small ways we can carry the light. As my friend Marcia wrote to accompany her gift of a silver night light, “While the days remain dark, we provide light for one another.”
It’s not coincidence that all the religious traditions celebrate holidays now, the darkest time of year. As we celebrate within our own traditions, let’s remember all the ways we welcome the return of the light: whether walking in the sun, lighting candles, baking gingerbread topped with orange slices (my neighbor Mia’s ritual) or other rituals, other ways we find to bring light into the lives of those we love.
What are your Solstice rituals? Do you have a favorite Solstice poem, song or story? If so, please share it with us.
May your holidays be filled with light in a myriad of forms! And in the flurry of it all, may we remember to allow silence and space for whatever feels sacred, whatever brings us deep peace.
With gratitude for you all, our dear readers and friends, for making this journey with us,