The Winter solstice is a time for reflection and hibernation, not the mad crazy dash to buy the perfect gift. The season's true meaning gets lost in the hustle bustle and anxiety that arises from attempting to satisfy some pressed upon us cultural more which insists that we participate. Since our move to the southwest it's easier to ignore the trends and to settle into the different angles of the sun, the cooler days and nights and yes, clouds and rain!
This year I had decided to forego buying a tree until I realized that to me, the true meaning lies in bringing a tree inside. It is the tree that signifies the pagan roots of this time. I love the smell of pine, I love the lights and I love dressing the tree in finery. And so instead of spending big bucks to buy a tree that was shipped down from the Pacific Northwest, I bought a live Arizona Cypress. It's small and very prickly, but next year it will be larger and the year after that, larger still! It put up with the lights and the decorations, only asking to be watered a bit more often while inside.
I know not everyone does, but I love the shorter days and the longer nights of this season. I love not getting up early and being able to watch the sun rise over the Catalina Mountains. I love walking my dog with the quiet of the desert all around, the mountains enfolding me in their ancient arms. I like hearing the coyotes and the owls in the night, birdsong in the morning. I want to enjoy every minute of every day, whether it's winter, spring, summer or fall--each season brings its own unique attributes along with it.
And for you writers out there, take the opportunity to hunker down. Maybe today will be the start of your wonderful new novel! Happy solstice!