burn the Yule log bright
Traditionally, pagans celebrated the winter solstice, or Yule to pay homage to the Sun King’s journey to restore light to the world after the longest night of the year. It both marks the start of the dark winter months, and celebrates that every day forward will be a little brighter. Since this year’s solstice is next Monday, the 21st, I’ve found a few quiet, relaxing ways to celebrate next week. Make Dried Oranges I shared instructions for drying orange slices last year, and you can use them to decorate in several ways. One way is to tread them with a little string or spare ornament hook and hang them on your Christmas tree as ornaments. The lights will make them glow gorgeous sunset hues. Another way to use them is by decorating a solstice wreath. I ultimately bought a fake wreath to attach mine too (I’ll redecorate it every year!) but you could follow the instructions here for making one with a wire hanger. Eat by Candlelight Yule is all about celebrating the slow return …
When I first saw the Hubbard Glacier from a distance, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that it is larger than the state of Rhode Island. As the cruise ship I was traveling on drifted closer, the thin stripe at the end of the bay transformed into a stunning expanse of ice. Once we were as close as the ship could get, we came to a stop. I took in all of the gorgeous tones of blue in the ice and water, the quiet occasionally broken by the calving of ice, and exclamations of awe. Looking back on the trip now, it seems like even more of a once in a lifetime experience.
I sense the change in the air almost too late. I inhale the scent of frost, decaying leaves, a distant fire and realize the sun has almost set. I quietly slip out my back door, away from my new wife and our little baby. Once I’m out of view of the neat row of houses I race towards the woods. I run until my breath is ragged and the last rays of sunlight fade among the trees. I crouch, hunched over, waiting, waiting, until the pain comes. It shoots down my spine, every vertebrae flexing, and spreads out to every extremity. I feel my back press against a tree limb that moments ago was several feet above me. My hands clench, toes curl, and I scream and scream until the screams finally become howls. cloaked in the blue cold the full moon illuminates an unraveling
I had to share this video not just for the sound the ice makes, but also for the dreamy, poetic way the subject, Jonna Jinton describes them.
Bare hungry trees Tangle up the grey sky Reaching for more
Cold lonely path Long and winding, snow encrusted Lit by faint moonlight Unsure I’m alone, I pause The snow crunches, a twig snaps
There aren’t many fruits that I look forward to being in season during the winter, but blood oranges are definitely one of them. In season roughly November through May in the US,depending on where they are grown, they usually show up at my grocery store around mid January, but I start keeping an eye out for them in December. One of my favorite things to make with them is a flavored lemonade. It’s a little work, but more then worth it. I top mine with Blavod vodka for an extra kick (and macabre color), but it’s refreshing on its own as well. Blood Orange Lemonade: 1 cup blood orange juice – squeezed from about about four oranges 1 cup lemon juice- squeezed from about ten small lemons 1/4 cup orange juice- squeezed from one orange 3 cups water 3/4 cup simple syrup One blood orange sliced One lemon sliced Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and let sit for at least an hour. Top with vodka for an extra kick.