frozen tarn, looking west

Winter Fire . . . Winter Solstice in North America.
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If you're like me, you too probably feel the need to take
refuge from what Western culture has done with one
of the most special seasons of the natural year:

Winter Solstice

That quiet time of year when thoughts
of the past naturally turn to face the
stars of the North, and we sit in front
of the winter fire, alone,

gently burning away the burden of what
has been. Old books go, manuscripts go,
bills, letters never sent, even things we
wish we would have said. We watch

them burn, the crackling sound of the dry
pine bringing the hard, heavy oak into flame,
irregular remindings of the unexpected
which broods and ripens

within the silent, glowing coals. That dark
time of year of many candles and delicate strings
of white lights that helps us remember
the slower, more subtle rhythms

of the Earth itself, now not confused
by too much of the sun's glare. Some spaces
are meant to be empty; they're precious,
vulnerable, but oh-so-easy prey for

the religious contractors pounding at the
door or trying to get down the chimney at night.
But the fire is hot enough, and there's the simple
promise of handmade gifts which do not arrive

until spring. For weeks now, the sound of carols,
old and new, has been heard during the evening
hours, a sound passed on from village to village,
like a fire which must not be allowed to die out.

fieldwork VII.24.2005
& Movement
whisper cascade Wild
happy duo Dress
linden bench Ice
Flow . . .

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Photograph by Cliff Crego © 2005

(created: XII.18.2005)