Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy Solstice!

Okay gardeners, we've made it to the shortest day and starting tomorrow, daylight will begin increasing again.  Today is also the first day of winter.  Since reading this post by Ann Lovejoy, I've been revising my ideas about winter a bit but still long for warmer days.

Thirty years ago today, solstice magic brought Tom and me together.  Yikes, that's a long time.  We may celebrate by going to the Heronswood Solstice Celebration if the weather isn't hideous.  Wind gusts of 60 plus miles per hour are predicted for Thursday (As I write this, on Thursday morning, the wind is already rattling the windows and things are bumping around outside.  The strongest winds are yet to come.)  so trees may blow down, power may be out, etc. 

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

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 ling
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.

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. 
Welcome Yule!

Some years, I go all out with decorations; other years, the boxes of baubles in the basement wait for another time  This year falls into the latter category.  When working  to declutter the computer room/library, I came across this little plastic tree that plugs into a usb port and put it on the desk where I blog.  The business card holder and silver nest of glass eggs always live there.  They seem a good group to celebrate the rebirth of light and hope for spring's new life.  

Here's a little more light for the day.

Nice to be prepared for a possible power outage. We've never lost power due to wind although one year a car hit a power pole and a whole neighborhood went dark for a couple of hours.  

Prayer at Winter Solstice 
by Dana Gioia

Blessed is the road that keeps us homeless.
Blessed is the mountain that blocks our way.

Blessed are hunger and thirst, loneliness and all forms of desire.
Blessed is the labor that exhausts us without end.

Blessed are the night and the darkness that blinds us.
Blessed is the cold that teaches us to feel.

Blessed are the cat, the child, the cricket, and the crow.
Blessed is the hawk devouring the hare.

Blessed are the saint and sinner who redeem each other.
Blessed are the dead, calm in their perfection.

Blessed is the pain that humbles us.
Blessed is the distance that bars our joy.

Blessed is this shortest day that makes us long for light.
Blessed is the love that in losing we discover.

Happy Solstice all.  Keep warm, dry, and safe!


  1. Wonderful, warm post. I hope you survived the windstorm without too much damage. Happy anniversary to you and Tom. If you get to the Heronswwod Celebration, I'd love to see photos of it.

  2. Solstice magic! How wonderful, 30 years eh? Looks like that means pearls. Hope you make it to Heronswood.

  3. I enjoyed Ann Lovejoy's post. I like my garden in winter and enjoy the reprieve and peace of mind I get this time of year. I found real optimism in her words and I hope it helped all who find winter difficult.
    I love your table set up. Happy Winter Solstice and Happy Anniversary!

  4. Thanks for helping to turn the shortest day into a positive experience!

  5. Happy Anniversary to you and Tom! I enjoyed reading Ann Lovejoy's post, she is so wise, I always find something to take to heart in just about every post of hers. We survived the wind here without losing power, which was a surprise. I hope you both have many more blessings in many more years to come, but I hope those blessings don't include an overabundance of pain, cold, darkness or exhausting labor.

  6. Since Mark and I just celebrated 30 years, I can appreciate what a long and yet a short time that is. Best wishes to you and Tom for 2018. It's much colder here today and windy but nothing like you are having.

  7. Happy Solstice, Peter! And happy 'anniversary,' too. So happy the days will now be getting longer and we are headed in the right direction. :)

  8. Happy anniversary and solstice, Peter!

  9. I celebrate today! Maybe it's an ancestral thing, but I find joy on the winter solstice. And yes, while the winter garden seems barren and lifeless, here in the PNW it certainly isn't.

  10. What an uplifting post. You lit up my evening. Happy Anniversary may you both keep the light of love between you always. Happy Solstice, it will be getting lighter soon. yay!

  11. Congratulations to you and Tom powering through 30 years. So many couples just don't make it that far. And now we move on from the darkest hour back into the light every day just a few minutes at a time. How nice that you will make that journey together, out of the shadows.

  12. I like that solstice prayer. Thank you for sharing it! My decorating is rather sparse this year, too, but I'm liking the simplicity of it. As you say, every year is different. Happy solstice, Peter!

  13. Beautiful candles! Congrats on 30 years together.

  14. Happy your belated anniversary of 30 years together, Peter. It's a long life way.
    A merry Christmas, dear Peter and Tom!
    I wish you joyful holiday with your family and friends, health and happiness.


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