Breaking Trail

It’s not always easy getting out the door and up the mountain

{inner and outer storms, missing mittens, spilled tea, etc.}

The adventure begins when we give in, and give way…

{I said Cora needed a nap, he said if we hurried we’d get first tracks.}

…When we learn to glide through the realm of what is.

{He was right.}

Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, we find our way.

{So was I.}

Quiet Days of Simple Splendor

We go through days and seasons of busy-ness and calm, but this is the first year that I can say the holiday season is actually relaxing me. The old, familiar acts of honoring this time of cold and preparing for the soon-to-return light create a new framework for my days. They pull me away from the computer and back into a world rich with creativity and handmade works.

The tasks at hand? Creating an altar in honor of Winter; taking walks upon the frozen earth, cheeks red with cold; making beeswax ornaments to revive a bit of summer’s warmth (thanks to Gardenmama for the inspiration); crafting simple gifts from yarn and herbs, paper and paste; writing cards by hand to relatives and friends; cooking with the bountiful foods of winter, the turnips and beets, carrots and greens and leeks; making the spiced cookies my daughter’s great, great Grandmother brought with her from Russia.

All this and so much more bring a richness of purpose and creative fulfillment to these short, potent days before we gather with family, sharing love and small gifts and plentiful food. Sure, things will get wild at some point. But for now I’m heeding the call to be still. To turn away from the rush and towards the simple, thankful for a season that gives us so much to celebrate.

Have you seen the new e-magazine Rhythm of the Home? It is brimming with simple, beautiful ways to celebrate the winter. Consider it my gift to you!

Evergreen and Dark Nights, Thank You

 

Floating fruit fairies,

A hanging wreath:

Many thanks to the forest for this winter harvest.

::

We slow our pace a bit to match the sun

(for solstice is from the latin sol, sun, and sistere, to stand still)

Staying in more than going out,

crafting rather than spending,

watching the sun rise and set each day.

At dinner we take a bit of a rest from the electric lights

and bring candles to the table.

A celebration in honor of this dark season, welcoming it at in our home,

but also a mini-eco sabbath, reducing our impact in a small,

immeasurably pleasurable way.

::

For slow footsteps on the frozen land, leading us back towards

this home filled with the warmth of sunlight and the smells of fir and pine.

For restful days and festive nights,

the fleeting sun and long span of dark cold

– I give thanks –

Praise

The broken pot, the burnt meal,

the family gathered, the family scattered.

Praise the hunger and praise the bounty

Praise the crooked trail that gets you there

or nowhere.

Praise the anger and the hope,

the beauty and the fear.

Praise the hands lifted and able.

Praise the call to live this good life

gratefully, carefully,

wakefully.