Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice

Winter is officially here - today marks the shortest day of the year, which in my mind is an exiciting thing.  That means that from here on out, the days will be getting longer again.  The seasonal beginnings have always been a cool thing for celebration in my family as we have always made a point to celebrate non-holidays. When my sister and I were growing up, my mom would plan something special and fun to mark the change of the seasons.

For the spring equinox, we'd have our own version of a may day, and my mom would make us flower crowns for our hair - we got to wear them to school - which was quite a big deal in elementary school.  For the summer solstice, we'd always bbq - in my mind, the universal sign for summertime is a bbq - even just the smell still triggers that feeling of warm weather and playing outside until late (even if its foggy and we are shivering on a friend's SF porch).

The fall equinox always happens right after my mom's birthday at the end of September.  My parents live on a really pretty tree lined street, and the sycamores start to drop their leaves right as the weather starts to cool at night.  To welcome Autumn, we'd go and rake up all the leaves we could find, make a pile as big as we could, and jump in it.  Oh the simple pleasures of childhood...

Winter comes to the bay area before the winter solstice - the month of December is by far the coldest of all the months in the year, and at night, it frequently gets down to the 30's.  To welcome winter, we stay inside, wear our pajamas all day, and bake trays upon trays of Christmas cookies.  I REALLY wish I were there right now, holed up in my mom's warm kitchen, baking cookies, and laughing over a cup of coffee.  Unfortunately, I am at work, so in the spirit of the winter solstice, I will eat cookies for breakfast, and let out a quiet cheer to myself that after today, the days will get longer, and another spring is just around the corner!

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