Tuesday, December 23

simple solstice

I was lamenting the lack of an elaborate meal, a solstice cake, more nature inside the house. It just didn't feel the same. When you have a teething baby, everything falls by the way side.

So on the solstice the Wildflower and I went out for some fresh air and to languish under the midwinter sun. What a glorious sun day. Wrapped up warm, we sat by the bayside under the large comfort of an adriatic pine tree. Pressing our faces up against the rays, soaking up whatever sun the Winter relinquished.

And I lamented a little. And then as noon felt to approach and I breathed in the Moment of Stillness, something struck me.

For years I had spent the solstices as a time for connecting to a powerful moment in nature. Nothing more or less. Over time I had added a little more and more. It was still a fairly simple time, but I had recently been considering what else we might do as the Wildflower became old enough to fully participate. What happened to the simplicity?

What was I lamenting?

Since when did the solstice become about my rituals and traditions? Since when was it about the decorations or the meal?

It struck me that my solstice was becoming like many celebrated Xmases - where the paraphernalia became the holiday. And I wondered at the many people who did not celebrate Xmas but the solstice instead, and at those who were interested in celebrating the solstice, and wondered about the whys of what we choose.

It struck me that the solstice ought not to become a substitute for Xmas. For it wasn't. That we needn't think it required many rituals and decorations to somehow legitimise it. For it doesn't.

That's not to say I won't be cooking an elaborate meal or baking a cake or decorating some more at the next cycle. It means that what I had thought was a missed solstice, was actually a gift to me. A chance to reconnect with my own reasons for the days of the winter sun. It means that I knew that what I wanted was to instill awe of nature and connection to it in my Wildflower. That the trimmings were only symbols, nothing more.


It struck me that there was nothing to lament, but everything to celebrate.


  1. Did you take that photo? It's gorgeous! If that's your "backyard", I'm jealous.

    What a lovely moment and discovery you and Wildflower had.

  2. This is very touching to me ... as we struggle to move away from the Christmas holiday and celebrate something more meaningful to our family ... I appreciate the simplicity that you remind us of.

  3. Beautifully written Mon. Thank you for sharing this with us. It sounds like you experienced something very special. I am glad you had a chance to reconnect.

  4. I also enjoyed your perspective. Several years ago, we had very little money to buy gifts - and the boys spent half of that picking gifts for toys for tots. We had a very simple Christmas. A tiny, fake tree our neighbor gave to us and only very few little gifts. It was really, actually a gift in itself. To realize that my boys weren't really affected by all the stuff of the year. Sure, it's fun, but it's completely unnecessary. This year we celebrated solstice by starting family nature journals and an evening in front of the fire place. Christmas is better decked out, though. My dad gave us his old big fake tree, and the boys enjoy cutting paper ornaments to deck the house.

  5. Lisa, that view is down by the bay, about a 5 minute walk down the hill from where we are renting. My 'backyard' is a mountain peak. :)

    Amy - yes, it's all about what is meaningful. I think it's easy to lose or forget that.

    Thank you Sara. We sure did, connection is a beautiful thang. :D

  6. CC- isn't it funny how little money can be a gift, and how more money, while making things fun, can also end up a hindrance?

  7. What a beautiful photo. I love your perspective on simplicity at Solstice. Both of our solstices are complicated by other family matters.

    I love the connection you have with the deepest things.

  8. I just LOVE this post! And such a beautiful pic!
    Happy Solstice to you and your wildflower.

  9. I've felt somehow that I wasn't "doing" the Solstice in a proper Waldorf manner. This gives me something to think about and to remember next time. Wonderful post.

    I hope the teething is a bit better. It's so tiring for everyone.

  10. The trappings of holidays will never be more than symbols, material mirrors of the truth behind the holiday. That said, I don't think there's anything wrong with the trappings in moderation, especially when so many of them -- like gift giving and special meals -- serve a greater social purpose.

    I like the word cloud in your header...I tried one for my blog once and the words were not very interesting!

  11. "That the trimmings were only symbols, nothing more."

    Exactly. We do what makes us feel connected and gives us tradition or meaning, but we don't have to do anything else but walk under the stars if that is enough. :)

  12. Your Solstice sounds just beautiful. So peaceful, and re-connecting with nature. Isn't this the essence of what so many of us crave, on a very fundamental, primal level?

    Solstice is the 'heart' of the season for me. A way of centering and remembering what is deeply personal and , beyond the social commitments.

    And I totally agree - little money, (as long as you can eat an' all that) can be a gift, and very liberating.

    That photo is exquisite.

  13. Great sentiment!!! I completely agree.. and it sounds like you had a wonderful solstice!! I think it's so important to know and remember why we do what we do. Thanks for sharing this!!



  14. Welcome Tabitha Blue. :)

  15. We plant a tree or trees on Solstice (weather permitting). This year the weather did not permit as it was too bloody cold and I only "celebrated" by dragging a chair from window to window as the sun moved around the house. I bathed in the light and warmth and was immensely grateful.

    Thanks for reminding us of what it is really all about.


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