Saturday, December 20, 2008

A little winter cheer...

Though we happen to be gathering on the Oregon Coast with the family for the coming holiday week, we wanted to write about some of the traditions that we keep in our little two-man house.  

Since both of us wither with the loss of the sun, we anxiously await the swing side of the winter when the days become longer again.  We love the Winter Solstice, because it is the shortest day of the year, the day after which the sun will steadily rise just a little earlier and set just a little later, shedding just that much more sunlight.  We can begin to feel the shift in the air, bringing light and warmth back into our lives and the world around us.  And to celebrate, we like to do a few things to mark the occasion.

The return of the light can be very symbolic for the coming year.  The dark quiet of winter is a prime time to reflect on the past year, and to look forward and plan for the coming one.  It is a good time to let go of past regrets and grudges and to embrace the spirit of the year ahead.  We like to tidy up, make homey food and to decorate with color and warmth and find a way to bring a little of the light of the coming year into every day.  We like to find at least one thing to soften our hearts to, find one person to shed a little light for.  We try to reconnect and make amends with those that need it, forgive others and ourselves and let those lessons be learned with the diminishing light. We seek out and share gratitude with those who bring light to our lives, and strive to be that candle of light in return.

It is a good time for remembering.  We go through our photo albums and journals and reminisce, and do a little updating so as not to forget who we are and where we came from.  We also use this as a time to hash out the stories and tales that will become family legend, to remind us of THIS winter, THIS year.  We also use this time to dream of the future, talk about our goals and aspirations.  To check in to make sure that we both are doing all we can to meet the needs of the other and ourselves.  That we are moving towards the goals that we have set for ourselves, each other and us.  The future can sure look bright indeed through the dark of those cold winter nights.

We thought to share this as there are so many things out there that would be easy to take with us into this next year, too many things to begrudge and forget.  Too much talk of doom and gloom.  Too much of the dark to hide the coming of the light of a new day, a new year.  Gather warmth and light and love.  Memory and passions, hope and humility.  These are such wonderful things to carry...

We love you all and are thinking of you.

Alan and Ty