Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Creating Solstice traditions

This story about my first solstice celebration is one of 47 spirit-directed stories in the Journey Oracle divination deck.

A man and a woman were just beginning to be together, and wanted to make their own holiday traditions. They decided they would stay up all night on the longest night of the year, and remember how much they loved the sun. The man and woman decided they would make a feast, but eat without any of the conveniences that get in the way of the sun on earth which is fire. They gathered one food of each kind that kept them alive: meat, fowl, fish, root vegetable, vine vegetable, plant vegetable, fruit and nuts, and went out into nature at sundown.

They made a lean to for shelter and built a fire just beyond its rim. They invited the sun into the flames and watched them on the prowl for wood to eat. The wind came to the feast and pushed the smoke and cinders of the fire into their eyes and mouths. “This is no loving parent,” the couple said. “The wind is stalking the edges of our feast because we forgot to make a place for it to sit.” And so they told stories to the wind, and cleared a place where it could play inside the shelter. The man and woman stayed captured by the night, playing games and eating each food separately that they cooked over the sun on earth which is fire.

At sunrise the couple felt that something had been begun. They were sooty from being played with by the wind, and greasy from doing without the conveniences of serviettes and utensils. The man and the woman walked to a bus stop to ride home. Although the bus that picked them up was crowded with early morning commuters going to work, all the seats around them remained empty.

“I think there is judging that we are not correct” the couple whispered to each other as they noticed their stained clothing and wood-smoked hair. “Truly, by feeding the longest night something has been begun on this day.

Although we now go into nature on solstice day, rather than at sundown like in this first celebration at a park on Oahu, Hawaii, for 31 years we have never missed spending this shortest day of the year feeding the sun and the wind, and thanking all the creatures that keep us alive. Now we light a bonfire at dusk to give the sun strength, and when we are again back inside with stained clothing and wood-smoked hair—we feel the honor of still showing up to something begun so long ago.