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Celebrating the Winter Solstice

Photo by Brett Hamlyn

The winter solstice is the longest night, shortest day of the year, and it is something to celebrate to my mind.  I know every season has its charms, but I’m so looking forward to the return of the light! In my community we have a twenty year old tradition of bonfire, candles, roast dinner with plum pudding, and gifts.  We draw names from a hat at Halloween, six weeks earlier, and hand-make a gift to give at the Yule celebration. All the kids, down to the tots, make their gift and its a wonderful antidote to the consumerism that gift-giving often turns into. (You can see Brett’s complete slideshow here .)

The actual solstice is not until the early hours of Wednesday morning, but since this is the closest weekend, we celebrated last night, and I had to share my gift with you.  I have been grumbling so relentlessly lately about the turkeys and bower birds raiding my garden, that it inspired Henry, a most magnificent scarecrow.

He is now standing guard at the corner of my shadehouse looking out over the garden, and looks very vigilent.

Often the grown up kids come home for the party – several of the kids came home this year (including my son), and I was able to send them  home with a bundle of garden greens, a bucket of citrus fruit, some potted herbs and the new batch of preserved lemons. It’s one of the major pleasures of having a garden. And now I can start to look forward to the lengthening days as we turn the corner in the year.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Jason Dingley June 21, 2011, 1:33 pm

    You so continue to inspire me Linda. Now that gardening is such a big part of my life the length of day light has a big meaning to me too. And you have inspired me to celebrate it. With very little time to organise a party I think I will celebrate this years with just the family. But next I think I will make a big deal of it.

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