Celebrating the Winter Solstice and the return of the sun…Memories and following Mum’s traditions…

It’s currently mid winter in the southern hemisphere, and I’ve been thinking about when we were kids and how mum loved to celebrate the winter solstice. 

We would often have a campfire outside once the sun had set, getting all rugged up with beanies, gloves, woollen jumpers and blankets for our knees, mum would make a soup and cups of tea, sometimes roasting potatoes in foil on the hot coals of the fire….the light from the fire beaming up into the tall flooded gum trees above us, often spotting possums or tawny frogmouths peeping down at us. And watching the sparks fly up to the black starry night.

We had quite a few cold winters as kids, but as the years have gone by they seem to have become less and less in the northern rivers of NSW.

This winter we are spending time in Victoria which is much, much further south than what we are used to.. It feels fitting to be thinking about celebrating the solstice and maybe starting a tradition based on mums, for our own little family.

Although it may be a little too chilly for an outdoor fire (still not quite acclimatised to the cold), we will light the indoor fireplace and sit around it. Mum used to also buy us a small gift…which was exciting to look forward to.

Later when we were all grown up we would celebrate with mum and we would write down what we no longer need in life and burn it in the fire…it felt cathartic and renewing…

Our eldest brother would be enthusiastic to make mulled wine, the smell of the spices and wine warming on the stove filled mum’s kitchen with a wintery warmth that was quite pleasant.

This year with my little girl and my husband, we will eat some delicious soup, watch the crackling flames in the fireplace, think of mum and celebrate the warmth gradually returning…from the deep quiet of winter, we will emerge anew, awaiting the abundance of spring and moving forward from all that we have processed during the stillness and inward journey we have been on….although there are still many days of winter to come it feels refreshing to look forward to the longer days arriving.

Happy Winter Solstice to all! (or Summer Solstice to the northern hemisphere)