The ruminations of an artist on art & quilts, beading, knitting, drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking are all my passions, I love to explore creating....

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Solstice and the Return of the Light

This evening it is the Solstice---the day with the least daylight, and the sun has its lowest arc in the sky. Once I visited Newgrange, a beautiful megalithic site in Ireland. This huge circular stone structure is estimated to be 5,000 years old, older by centuries than Stonehenge, older than the Egyptian pyramids! It was built to receive a shaft of sunlight deep into its central chamber at dawn on winter solstice. The builders of Newgrange aimed the light to shine into the structure on the Solstice and illuminate a large rough carved stone basin. Although not much is known about how Newgrange was used by its builders, marking the solstice was obviously of considerable spiritual importance to them, and the place still invoked awe in me and the many other visitors who travel to see it. Growing up in Alaska we always celebrated the Solstice with winter bonfires or lighting candles---where the daylight was so short in winter, it seemed doubly important to celebrate the return of the the light each year.

Here in California, we plan to welcome the return of the light by lighting a few candles tonight, and enjoying our annual dungeness crab feed potluck with friends and neighbors. Right now in Northern California it is crab season--which means fresh dungeness crab is abundant, and even reasonably priced, so we consume it often. A simple meal of fresh crab to crack, salad, bread and wine...and a thank you prayer to our Mother Earth and Oceanus, to mark the day and honor the sun, the sea, and the land's contribution to our lives.

1 comment:

Lorraine said...

Ah, a fellow solstice fan! The picture is so beautiful and I loved your story.