Happy Solstice to all

Almost every culture and religion celebrates the solstice in one way or another, whether on the day or very close to it. Even for those whose cultural ties are weak and religious ties may be non-existant, the turning of the year is an undeniable and astronomic event which offers all of us a chance to pause and reflect on the good things and the hard things in our lives. The Winter solstice marks a move from darkness to light and gives hope at the same time as we remember that we are entering into the coldest part of the year.

Coming into being — An Athiest in Advent

IMG_20151218_125741_edit1Waiting. It can be a chosen tool of acceptance. It can be a way of building excitement. It can be a strategic position. Or it may be a grim necessity. Telling someone else to wait can be a tool of control—demonstrating your power over another. It may be just gentle teasing. Or it may simply be a plea for patience. Preparing. There is some common ground with waiting, but it is a position of action, of agency. This is not resignation, or simple hope that we will receive what we most desire. Preparation is about engagement. It is about creating possibility. It is a process of both action and openness.
My grandmother with a photo of my siblings and me - Christmas 1980

My grandmother’s cake

Food is a powerful force in our lives. We have to eat frequently or suffer. We gather over meals. We use meals to celebrate. We have consumed so many meals in our lives that it is no wonder we develop strong associations both good and ill with many foods. Food remains a central part of hospitality.