The first annual solstice party.
There were a lot of pieces of the evening I envisioned happening that… well… didn’t. Perhaps my expectations are always too high. Perhaps my imagination is so vivid it borders plain old silly. Either way, the truth is- no one swooned under the mistletoe hung (and hung again when they dried out) in each doorway. No one smashed open the pinata with a puff of glittery sparkles and certainly no one dove on top the scratch tickets that came out of it. No one even won big (classy) money. No one held an apple candle holder by the fire singing kumbaya or any other little tune. And no one played by the earth candle deep in the land of imagination.
I did not mind all these little comic strips in my mind not getting drawn up. Not one bit. Even though I did spend a bit of time creating a poem, felting a bowl, practicing a little speech, and teaching Miles to carry the bowl around to each person, for a releasing ceremony, I still had a smile pinned on my face at the end of the night.
For regardless of my expectations, the night-time is always magical. The moon is always silver. Children always run wild in the dark world. Candles are always romantic, even if you have to light them and relight them and relight them again. Conversation is always wonderful and full of laughter. Bread and beer and shrimp and shepherds pie are the heart of a truly comforting meal. Always. And it turns out that yes, I am silly. I repeated some of my scenarios to Lee of the way I thought the celebration would have looked in my mind on the days leading up to the darkest night of the year, and not only did I burst out laughing (I am ridiculous!), but I realized some things.
Some things happened that I didn’t expect at all. Our chickens are so friendly. Our dog is not terrible. Our cats love other people’s cars. My children can share. Fire’s are mesmerizing for people of all ages. Food can be enjoyed in pitch black sky, so dark you hardly know what you are eating. Pinatas work just fine if you have to wail on them like your teeing off.
After my fit of laughter, I realized even further details of the evening.
All these people, showing up at our doorstep which happens to be well off the beaten path, are amazing. We have truly lovely friendships that we value and cherish with all our hearts.
My son has turned into an independent child. Not a baby at all. A boy. A boy who can feed himself, stoke the fire, take himself to the restroom (or the forest) despite layer upon layer of clothing, be a host all without the helping hand of a mama or daddy. It broke my heart as much as it filled it.
I saw that what I planned on “releasing” in my detailed thought out ceremony actually happened anyways. I wanted to let go of the expectations of motherhood. And even sans ceremony, solstice celebration number one did just that for me. All this planning, all these thoughts, were just that. Thoughts. It turns out that becuase the evening lacked a moving ceremony, I was given the opportunity to let go of my expectations. I lived well into each moment, and each moment was just icy goodness. The evening was nothing short of perfection.
Me + Winter Solstice 4 eva.
And if you are reading this, and you were here last night, and wish we had in fact done the ceremony after all, then this is the poem you would have heard, you could do it yourself if you wanted!
On winter solstice there is a chance,
to rid yourself of a bit of resistance.
Of obstacles, traps and excuses,
to free up all your creative juices.
From this evening onward the sun will grow brighter
Release your troubles, make your load lighter.
To carry on this practice as an extended community,
your filling yourself with extra immunity.
For together we raise the energy level so high,
we will burn our troubles,
they will smolder in the sky.