It is Yule again. This year is particularly unique, as a full lunar eclipse coincides with the winter solstice — something that particularly engages my geeky, science-hungry brain. Apparently, this will be the darkest night in over 470 years.
As we embrace the darkness this year, and look forward to welcoming the light, I find myself waiting at yet another threshold. Our daughter should arrive at any time now. I reached the 40 week mark on the 20th, and have been steadily having contractions for several days. On Saturday, I woke at 4am with contractions coming every 4-5 minutes, but never for more than a half an hour at a time. Then nothing for an hour or more. By the time I went to bed Saturday night, I was having contractions steadily at 8 minutes apart, and certain we would be going to the hospital before Sunday morning. On Sunday: nothing. It was as though everything had stopped, and I was waiting again. As though nothing had happened.
We have our little traditions for welcoming the light, which will only be slightly altered this year. Instead of a big dinner for family and friends I’m going to make a nice dinner for the two of us. I usually clean the house really well, and take on at least one organizing project (cleaning out a closet, sorting out our pantry, etc). It’s sort of annual tradition for me, odd as it may be, to get rid of some of the clutter from the previous year. This year, there seems a greater urgency to have everything clean and organized before settling in to the coming weeks with a new baby. I want to make that transition as painless for all three of us as possible. I usually build a large fire — sometimes outdoors as well as in — and burn some herbs. I always make a wish for the coming year.
This year, I am expecting to make a nice dinner for us, then curl up by the fire with some warm spiced cider or eggnog and enjoy what may be our last evening at home alone together. I am looking forward to embracing the darkness and celebrating the sunrise in the morning. If our daughter is born on the solstice, we will name her for the oak.
I hope this solstice finds you well and happy. I hope you are warm, and surrounded by those you love. Blessed be.