It was -2F (-18C) as I crawled begrudgingly out of our warm bed the other morning and made my way to the bathroom (a very cold seat!) and then to the kitchen for two cups of steaming coffee that I had smelled brewing for the past half hour. Keeping warm is a major occupation these days in Boston and we wonder sometimes if we're up to the task. Too much warm living. After managing a cold day of food shopping, tromping around in slush, shoveling snow and lots of shivering, we prepared to go to Lin's Earth-centered group's annual winter solstice celebration … aka Yule. The best part of celebrating solstice besides the camaraderie, eating and drinking is that solstice signifies the end of shortening days and the beginning of the northern hemisphere's slow return to spring and summer. The days will lengthen again and the warm will eventually return. Hallelujah!
We've attended many Yule celebrations with this group and it's always a pleasant experience despite my griping and grousing about heading out into the dark of night and freezing temps to get there. Milton's First Parish, dating to 1787, is a white-clapboard UU church and always serves as our venue.
The group has gotten smaller over the years, but the core group remains solid and wonderfully welcoming. Pam led us through a simple, but thought-provoking ceremony. We reminisced about the old year and shared plans for the new. We sang carols and made beeswax candles as part of the festivities. And I, thoroughly involved in the ceremonial activities, took no pictures till it was all over. Darn!
We later shared a potluck dinner and exchanged gifts in a traditional Yankee trade. Everyone brought wonderful gifts so there were no white elephants … well, maybe the year-old Truro cranberry wine qualified. But we sampled it when we got home, and lo and behold, it was quite good and will be used as a dessert wine after Christmas dinner. A fun and meaningful evening. Let the longer days commence … soon!