Winter Solstice

Longest night of the year

Night lights in the balcony garden.  They lift my spirits and connect me to the a Universe that glows, sparkles, and twinkles. (And this past Monday night, I think the moon winked at me, saying "Hey, teeny-tiny you, don't take yourself, your imperfections and life's inconveniences so seriously.")

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Too often I bemoan my timing, but Monday evening, the stars were aligned -- or more precisely, the moon and the clouds. I didn't have my camera in my bag (I've never had much success with night shots) but I'll try to describe the truth and beauty in less than 1000 words.

The setting: The evening of the Winter Solstice; cold, dry, and cloudy describe both the weather and my spirits. I'm walking with my Westie over the Cambie Street bridge. He's dragging his tail. I'm at the other end of the leash, tugging on it distractedly while mentally making pre-Christmas lists and engaging in the annual Holiday tradition of beating myself up for not doing this or that on time.  The moment: For some reason -- perhaps a cosmic force --  I glanced up to see a silver crescent within a perfectly circular opening in the clouds. A sideways smile? A sympathetic wink? Then the clouds drifted, obscuring the luminous light of the waxing Long Night Moon.

When I arrived home, I set aside my "urgent" to-do lists aside and spent a good half-hour in a state of balcony garden bliss, tweaking the green and light.  I felt grateful for the new season, the start of lengthening days and the Universe's beauty, rhythms and randomness.  A Solstice ritual was natural and right. There is room for it in my unorthodox, on-the-fly, Advent traditions.

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As always, the comments are open for your stories. I'd love to hear about the garden's role in your December Holiday celebrations.