Sunday, December 20, 2009


It's the shortest day of the year. And the longest night.

Many pagans celebrate the return of the sun at Winter Solstice. I take a slightly different view. Yes, the days are getting longer, but it really won't be noticeable until Imbolc, February 2nd. It's called mid-winter in the old carols for a reason...

It hasn't been very many generations since our ancestors lived off the land. Two, for me. And for them, winter brought cold weather and long nights of darkness, lit only by candlelight, or the dim, dying hearthfire. It sometimes brought hunger, even starvation. The return of the sun was a reminder that spring would come again, that one day soon they would plant, and forage, and bring in a bountiful harvest to feed themselves and the animals they cared for. Winter nights, cold and long. Winter days spend preparing for spring, spinning, sewing, weaving, knitting. Mending harness. Repairing things that had been broken. There were trips outside - to the barn, to hunt or forage, to the neighbours or a nearby town, if no storms were expected. But the journeys were few and far between.

I am writing, of course, of experiences limited to the northern hemisphere, in places where it snows. Sometimes a lot.

So really, when I think about it, all the hustle and bustle that surrounds Christmas, and the Yule season goes against what I`m naturally inclined to do. I want to stay at home, cook good meals, spend time with my kids. I want to write...I always want to write, but words pull themselves out of me at this time of year like no other. It could be the solitude. It could be the comfort of the darkness. I want to share my time with the people in my life that I love, in a quiet nurturing way. I want to curl up under warm blankets and sleep the winter away. I want good books, good coffee, and a good long sit in the darkness of my living room as the lights of my Yule tree cast coloured shadows on the ground.

What I don`t want is to be in WalMart, or any other retail establishment. I don`t want to be at noisy, loud parties. I don`t want to be pushed along the grocery aisle by impatient people who need to get the next thing done. And so often, at this time of year, I find myself doing exactly what I don`t want to do. Case in point: tomorrow night, you will probably find me at the closest mall, getting all those last last minute things done. Hating every minute I have to spend in the noise, the crowds, with the piped in jolly carols, with the guy in the red suit with the artificial beard. My time there will be short, indeed.

And then I will go home again. I`ll open my book and lose myself in someone else`s words. I`ll open my journal and write a few of my own - more than a few, if I get the chance. I`ll reluctantly hop on the cross trainer because I should. I`ll make wishes and dream dreams. So many of the things I dreamed about in the last year or so have come true - I have so much abundance that I revel in it...abundance that takes care of my physical and emotional needs. A good job. Good food in the fridge and on the table. Family all around me. Friends who understand me, who care about me, who are good at making me laugh. People I love. I have a home of my own and the independence I`ve denied myself all of my adult life.

I wish to be present, to be aware, to take these moments and live them fully, because they are blessed and bountiful. I want to share my abundance with other people - and don`t get me wrong, it`s not about money. I have enough of that - not too much, but enough. But in gratitude for what I have, I want to give something back to the earth, and to the wonderful beings who inhabit Her.

I wish to be comfortable with myself, and my body. I am, I am, but not enough.

I wish to share this wonderful life of mine with someone else.

I wish  to spend more time with my kids.

I wish for peace.

I wish for the creative side of my being to flow freely, to be inspired and active all year long.

I wish for better health for myself, and good health for the people I love.

I wish for love and joy for all of you this time of year, no matter how you spend your holidays.


Ang said...

Wonderful post. I hope all your wishes come true. I wish those same things for you as well. :)Yay for friends and reflections.

Camlin said...

Ang - thank you. I think that if I can dream and vision, I can manifest what I desire. May all your wishes come true as well!

small town dyke said...

Great post, Happy solstice!

Camlin said...

Thank you!

Murray said...

So many wonderful wishes! I hope they all come true for you. If all of them aren't happening right now, may they happen for you in the new year.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. I so agree. Happy Yule to you!

Making Space said...

Such beauty and truth in this post. Brought tears to my eyes. Much love and light to you as you find your quiet winter space. And I'm so glad you like your solstice fairy!

Margo Moon said...

Your priorities seem well aligned, my friend.

Happy wintering.

Maria said...

I think I survive by not expecting too much. My partner DETESTS Christmas, says it is a commercialized nightmare and she is right, to an extent. I decorate the house for my child. If I had my druthers, I would have a few tasteful decorations and be done with it. Bing and I don't even swap presents on Christmas. We have guests and our fridge has a fresh turkey in it. We will do Christmas as best we can (there is an ice storm followed by a snow storm coming) and then get on to January.

Camlin said...

I hope all of you are having a wonderful Yule season!

Maria, I think that storm is headed our way after you get it....