Dreaming the Night Away

Halloween, or All-Saints-Eve, or Samhain, or whatever name you choose to call that time of year, is traditionally seen as when the veil between worlds is the thinnest. It may very well be; who am I to say?

But for me, the veil is the thinnest at the winter solstice, or Yule, or Christmas, or whatever name you choose to call this time of year. This shortest day. At least in our hemisphere.

winter 08-09 002

Now is when most of life has spiraled down into that deep sleep and into those deep dreams. Bears are hibernating (or should be; there’s a local guy who didn’t get the memo). Trees have slowed their respirations and sap has seeped into the roots.

The days have shortened to this moment, and now they turn on their spiral and slowly begin moving upward. In a few days the light will be called back and the days will lengthen in increments too tiny for us to notice yet, as we rush through our hectic lives. But that sleeping, dreaming, earth out there knows.

iced filbert 010

This time of year has always been full of magic for me. From the younger days when I clutched my wooden nutcracker because I just knew he would come to life at midnight on Christmas Eve, to a parent telling a skeptical child that I choose to believe in magic at Solstice. And that those who turn away from the magic, whether you call it Santa or something else, will have lost something forever.

arthur 037

His magic elements – the dog sneaking up on the toast and jam, the tea, multiple books, his Fat Cat, the afghan his aunt made for him, and the long wait ahead.

So why wouldn’t the veil be the thinnest right now, in this deepest of sleep, in this darkest of nights?

Why wouldn’t there be magic?

My Christmas tree has always been my memorial tree. The decorations are old and showing their age, but each one was touched by someone in our family now gone. Each one has a story. And each winter season I remember. And they feel closer to me than at any other time in the year. This year we will add a tiny green kayak.

So no matter how you celebrate this time of year, I hope you sleep deeply and dream, and in the dreaming, find what you seek.

miscellaneous 092

10 thoughts on “Dreaming the Night Away

  1. I love this season. I celebrate Xmas with a tree, and the decorations go back years and years, so they hold special memories for me. I also love the lights and love to drive around admiring what people have done. (My husband and I put up some outdoor lights, but I would have to call them “bare minimum”. Still, some of the displays are pure magic.

    • Oh, I love the lights, too. My son is always asking me ‘don’t you think that’s enough lights on the tree?’ and my answer is always either ‘there’s several more strings in the box’ or ‘there are a couple bare needles’. I also like to drive around and see what people have done. Many years ago there was an amazing place called Candy Cane Corner. The couple had a child not expected to live long. So each Christmas she was still with them, they added to their outdoor decorations. Live puppet shows. A real Mrs. Clause knitting by a fire. Lights, lights, and more lights. Cars would line up for blocks. And when the daughter passed away in her early twenties, they never put the decorations up again. I loved going to their place, and I loved the bittersweet story, too.

  2. So true. There is a significance to this time of year which has only deepened as the years have passed. And all this darkness leaves so much time for ruminating on past Decembers and the bone deep understanding that the past is just that and will never be returned to now.
    I have focused on some art projects and being lost to the flow of creating has helped cope with the unexpected encounters with pictures or objects of Christmas past that include a living, breathing Sam.
    Thank you again for a lovely piece of writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s