I fully intended to wake up for the eclipse last night.  When the alarm went off, I tried to keep my eyes open, but instead I kept falling right back to sleep.   So, rather than spending the longest, darkest night of the year huddled against the cold and staring up at the sky in awe, I spent it curled warmly in bed.  I’ve had worse nights.

Some of my friends tell me it was too cloudy here to see much, anyway.  Still, I would have preferred to experience a little bit of it.

The day so far is rainy.  We’ve lived through the incredible darkness but the sun is too shy yet to show itself.  This morning I marked the Winter Solstice with a small ritual… I made a fire out of twigs, little sticks of pine, and vines from our arbor.  First I burned some sage & cedar, and then wrote down my goals and intentions for the coming year.  I also wrote down the words I have chosen as my guiding words for the year, though really they have chosen me (and I was surprised to end up with two.)

One by one, I dropped the slips of paper into the fire and watched the smoke rise.  Some cultures believe that smoke is the visual form of prayers traveling out to God.  I hoped that was true as I watched my hopes and wishes catch, curl black, and billow up to join the clouds.

I stood in the faint drizzle in my sweatpants and boots until the fire went out, then went inside to warm up with some tea and get dressed for the day.

Every few minutes, whenever I turn my head a certain way, I catch the scent of smoke in my hair.