Sunday, December 23, 2007

this little light of mine

Smoke Signals

There are people on a parallel way.
We do not see them often, or even think of them often,
but it is precious to us that they are sharing the world.
Something about how they have accepted their lives, or how the sunlight happens to them,
helps us to hold the strange, enigmatic days in line for our own living.
It is important that these people know this recognition, but it is also important that
no purpose or obligation related to this be intruded into their lives.
For those on that parallel way, here is a smoke signal, unmistakable but unobtrusive - we are
following what comes, going through the world,
knowing each other, building our little fires.
William Edgar Stafford (1917-1993), American poet & pacifist

yesterday at precisely 1:08 a.m. (est) solstice occurred and marked the moment the sun was the farthest from the celestial equator (at least here in the northern hemisphere for my friends in the southern hemisphere the seasonal shift is topsy turvy). last night was the longest night and by this very fact a special night. f and I celebrated the solstice in the company of friends. the party was held at s & p warm and lovely home. when we walked in we were embraced by kind welcomes, a house lit by the soft glow of candles, the gentle laughter of friends, and an enticing aroma of a winter soup simmering on the stove.

it is affirming to be in the company of friends. last night the group included some old and some new. I was reminded me of a sampler I had just admired at my parent's house a couple weeks ago. the sampler, made for my mother by a girlfriend back in 1961, is stitched in threads still bright proclaims "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold." this sampler, with it's simple poem of friendship, has traveled from memphis to agana to annandale, and has graced a wall somewhere in my parent's home its halfway circled the world and has come back again. this sampler, like the others hanging around my parent's home, is a touchstone, an affirmation and message for living a good life.

last night we gathered to celebrate and to call back the light. in the tradition of times long gone and times to come we ate, drank, and made merry. the evening included a few special activities which drew everyone together and gave means to connect with each other, with the earth, and with all beings - human and other. during the evening each person selected and read a poem - the poems reflected the season and the spirit of renewal and the promise of spring that lies at the core of winter.

after the poems were read the candles throughout the house were extinguished. we sat in darkness to meditate and reflect on the wordy gifts we just received. after a bit miles, s & p's son, with a single match lit the yule log, he, in turn lit a small candle. in the lighting of the candle from the log, miles shared his prayer for peace and called on each of us, if so moved, to light a candle and share a prayer, a gratitude, or thought. we each did. once we lit our small candle we placed our candle with other candles in a tray filled with the sand from lake erie. soon the room was ablaze with the light of these small candles. to think the brightness all came from one stroke of a match - the light comes only when the gift is shared. light to you!

picture: solstice celebration, december 22 2007

11 comments:

Colette Amelia said...

You shine!

Gary said...

This seems like a lovely way to spend an evening. So right that we should give thanks, share a prayer or thought while in the glow of the candle's light.

Light to you! Happy holiday and enjoy the new year.

lettuce said...

what a beautiful ritual.
I spent time with a friend yesterday, talking, baking cakes, sitting by the fire, which was also a lovely ritual in its own way.

i love the quote - thats how i feel about some bloggers.

wishing you a lovely happy peaceful solstice, christmas, new year an' all.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

And light to you, Kimy. What a wonderful, blessing-filled post. Have a wonderful holiday season.
{{{{hugs}}}}

Reya Mellicker said...

Sounds like a wonderful celebration of solstice. Merriest to you, dear lovely Mouse. May 2008 be filled with inspiration, joy, good health, and lots of fun. Lots. OK?

jenclair said...

What a wonderful celebration of the Solstice! I love the peacefulness that radiates from this post, a sense of serenity and hope as we begin to watch the days lengthen once again.

To the light! Good health! Good cheer!

WAT said...

I just bought this nice green candle. Imma light it tonight and pray. It should look nice.

Have a terrific Xmas!

zquilts said...

I just discovered your blog via another friends blog. Your work is wonderful - as is your message. I'll look forward to reading more.

Dave said...

Nothing is more precious than sharing life with a few good friends. Thaks for this reminder!

Have a great Christmas! :-)

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

That sounds like it was a lovely ceremony, and I think I felt some of the light out west. I'm glad to have met you in the blogasphere this year, and wish you the best for 2008!

kimy said...

to all my buds out there in the blogosphere - thank you for expanding my 'circle' and my concept and understanding of the notion of community. welcome zquilts and dave to the mouse.

I wish for each of you are a season and new year filled with the joy of friends and family!