Saturday, December 20, 2003

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice, my favorite day of the year, arrives tomorrow. Since it literally heralds the shortening of the long nights in the middle of winter, it serves as a subtle and inspiring reminder of hope. We celebrate by going for a hike in the local mountains. This time of the year, the Santa Monica Mountains are perfect for a short walk. It's cool and usually cloudy. In the past, we would bring a picnic lunch, usually sushi, and come home to hot chocolate with a dash of Kahlua.

Now that we have a little one, rapidly growing into a kid, our routine has changed a bit. We no longer go up the difficult trails. Actually, we're lucky if we get out to the trail head. If not, we have our own homegrown solstice celebration. We make cookies, gingerbread houses, paper snowflakes and stars, and light candles. So far we haven't chosen an organized religious path so this is our little thing. We do get family pressure, of course, not that it's hard to ignore the mother-in-law who moans about her heathen grandchild.

And this year, since we are all recovering from this nasty bug, I think it will be too much to drag our aching butts out of bed onto the hiking trail. We'll celebrate at home where it's warm and cozy.