Winter Solstice

In the early morning hours of Thursday 22 last December our family left the cosy embeddedness of our dreamworlds for a shivering outside walk down the garden stairway to the oak tree.

Downhill, a few lights marked the presence of some neighbouring homes this side of the river. No dogs barking, not one bird awake. Out of the blue-black night sky drizzling raindrops ticked on our umbrellas as we carefully carried down three red candle lights to honour our old guardian tree.

This is the very first time we celebrate the turning of the seasons and the return of the new daylight:
it is Winter solstice.

We gather at the foot of our mossy guardian. You can feel the broad embracing of its branches over your head, as we install the three little red lanterns between the grassy roots. A red ribbon is tied around the dark grey trunk.

Time for a wistful wish:

„To Thee, the Grey Guardian Oaktree, We thank You for your silent caring presence, guarding the promise of eternal return of the warm sunlight, uniting the forces of heaven and earth with your shadow-giving branches, sheltering the winged and the bushy-tailed animals, the butterflies and bees and offering your deep silent reminders to whoever has an open heart to hear. Thank you, Thee.“

Then the three of us took each others hands as we climbed back upwards to the house, deeply inhaling the the fresh and moist morning air. Inside, a hot tea was waiting for the happy celebrators.

Outside in the darkness of the hillside, the flickering of the three little red lanterns was still visible.