As of yesterday, it's finally winter. This is a bit of a joke around here, as winter descended pretty definitively around Thanksgiving and hasn't released its grip even a little tiny bit. Frigid temperatures, a fair amount of snow--we are feeling somewhat mentally socked in. And our long driveway is a bumpy and icy mess, thanks to our snow blower dying last weekend. We dealt with the problem by driving up and down the drive about 50 times to pank the snow (as they say so endearingly in the Upper Peninsula). Yes, it's passable but it has the character of a washboard. An icy one. If the temps stay cold, it may remain that way for some time. Joy.
It was with this feeling of an endless winter stretching ahead that I was zipping through my blogroll yesterday and came on this lovely post from Mamacate. She writes about living with the darkness and cold, but with the sustaining comforts of inner light and warmth.
It's true--we look inward for warmth at this time of year. If we're fortunate there is much warmth to be had--the comforts of family drawing close for the holidays, the glow of candlelight, the crackle and scent of an open fire in the hearth, way too much comfort food. Winter has its compensations.
I like the idea of celebrating the winter solstice. There's something very appropriate about honoring the discernable features of the year. In doing it, we're celebrating our passage through the world and staying mindful of our own seasons and time. A candle lit for the solstice is a small spot of warmth and shelter, a small symbol of abiding.