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.