Reflections on the Winter Solstice
December 20 is widely recognized as the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night in the Northern Hemisphere. Many traditions have marked this time throughout the ages as an important time for celebration.The Winter Solstice in ancient Druidic beliefs was thought of as a time of death and rebirth when Nature’s powers and our own souls are renewed. The farmers almanac also recounts stories about the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, which began on December 17 and lasted for seven days. Saturnalia was held in honor of Saturnus, the Roman god of agriculture and harvest, and was characterized by the suspension of discipline and reversal of the usual order. Grudges and quarrels were forgiven, wars were postponed, and people engaged in carnival-like festivities. We still recognize the joy in the end of a growing season like the Ancients before us.
I love all the celebration of the bounties of agriculture in this season of feasting and giving that recognizes the official start of winter. This time of year is a great time to take a moment to reflect inward. As I finish up the frenzy of work surrounding the holiday gift giving season and the start of planning for a new year, I reflect on my business and my mission and ways to align them more completely. I look for what I’ve offered that has successfully sustained me, to the input from my customers and supporters, and to the growers that I nurture and support in kind. Taking the short day to look back and the long night to look forward, I am dreaming of ways to make the coming year beautiful, sustainable and practical.