Counting down to the solstice.
Surrounded by so much darkness.
Loving the ancient human practice of punctuating that darkness with every bit of light that can be found and utilized. Making light. Reflecting light. To me a statement of faith that the wheel will turn and the sunlight will grow stronger and longer.
It must have taken a lot of faith, in early days, when everything would (apparently) die and the darkness would daily grow longer. When I put my little display of twinkly white lights on my dining table (not much of a holiday decorator!) this morning, draped around two pillar candles, while it was just barely getting light out, I felt connected to centuries of humans doing everything they can to stay connected to the knowing that light will come again, the ground will get soft and fertile again, growth will come again, food will come again, animals will be born again…
Even I, in my privileged first-world–ness in the bay area, can feel the constraints of the season. I feed myself, as much as possible, with local and seasonal produce. I live by Michael Pollan’s wise words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.” I shop at two to three farmers markets a week, augmented by the produce sections of Berkeley Bowl, Market Hall Produce and Whole Foods.
It’s mid-December and it’s gloomy.
There are almost no fresh and local green vegetables. Lucky for me I love dark leafy greens: kale, chard and collards are abundant. Lucky for me I love my amazing roasted Brussels sprouts, for they too are abundant and affordable. That’s about it! Avocados? Local ones are very rare right now and look like they’ve been run over by a tank. Funny how accustomed I’ve become to living in Oakland. I get kind of offended when I can’t have perfect Hass avocados.
I wonder how I would fare in New York (where I’m from) living as a locavore. Reminds me to be double triple grateful that I get to thrive here. By comparison, I’m in growing-season heaven!
I don’t eat many root veggies, the rest of the year, but I’m thinking the next six to eight weeks are gonna see some beets and yams, just to have some more variety.
I am so grateful for the abundance, for the pleasure of eating apples and crispy bosc pears. My father loved bosc pears, and every morning when I cut one for my breakfast, I feel very connected to him and his memory.
I am very grateful this morning,
- for two powerful solstice rituals this weekend
- for practicing my super-secret presence exercises
- for taking myself out to the movies
- for asking the Xmas tree–lot guy for scraps as a donation and getting them!
- for being so involved in and connected to my tribe of priestesses
- for the Year-End cleansing ritual I got to do just as a participant yesterday
- for the lovely lunch and walk and coffee-shop sit I got to do with Belinda
- for the gift of a book (spontaneous bookstore buy) from Belinda
- for shopping at small local stores for a few holiday gifts
- for buying footless tights for a friend, who wanted some
- for getting used to this newly crowned front tooth (almost 100% okay, still needs a bit of adjustment)
- for the amazing takeaways Rowan and I made for ritual
- for restoration of digestive health, slowly but surely!
- for the members of the Magnolias West gratitude challenge
- for winter sunshine and blue skies
- for love shared
Blessings, blessings, blessings!