we held our second annual winter solstice fireside celebration with friends old and new. there were s'mores and hot dogs and the burning of various things, a song taught and led by none other than ander, my child blessed with beautiful pitch and sense of rhythm and flow, some readings of solstice poetry and a prayer of sorts, connections between people established or renewed. laughing and hugging and appreciation and gratitude and cold and warmth and dark and light..
An abbreviated excerpt of "A Celebration of Winter Solstice" from The Circle of Life by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr.
So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
The sun is born again today
We greet the sun’s first morning ray,
We sing and celebrate the light,
The sun’s born in the longest night!