barn celebrations

An unexpected white Christmas, an impromptu snowball fight, a Christmas eve spent with sudden rushing about to get the animals warm, get them dry spots to sleep and thaw out their water troughs before it got even colder into the night, scrounging for tarps to cover the hay and firewood, a moment in the middle of shoveling shavings where I felt guilty that this is how we’re spending Christmas eve when my daughter looks at me with sparkles in her eyes and says “mama, I feel like Almanzo on Christmas eve…this is so cool!”…(we recently read Farmer Boy in the Little House series), when I then started a cedar shaving fight in the stalls and called her “Almanza” and “Farmer Girl” which she just loved and… the moment I realized this was not such a bad way to spend the eve- like pioneers, hot cocoa REALLY appreciated afterwards, walking into a house with heat also really appreciated. A fourth-and probably final- attempt at making snow molassess candy, turning the leftover boiled molassess into a bran-oat-carrot mash to warm the horses. Definitely a day of reminders to not take things for granted. That’s for sure. Reminders that there is joy and magic even in hard work. If you just look through a child’s eyes. Appreciation for the gentle warmth of candles and modern appreciations such as those battery operated star twinkle lights. Just setting the right mood for some Christmas and solstice reading. T’was the night before Christmas…and what fun we had at the barn on a snowy Christmas eve….

dark night and dreams

 

Well the actual solstice came quietly at the barn. The pre-party however did not. Here at the “barn” we hosted our little homeschool community’s solstice yule party a bit early (due to everyone’s schedules and having a gorgeous full moon). Complete with bonfire!

About a week prior we all got together to make yule logs wrapped with wishes and intentions for the new year. One of our mom’s told a beautiful story-about how we need the dark as much as the light, the quiet as much as the fun, the sad as much as the joy and how the Universe balances and assures us that if we let go, it will be okay. She told it in such a lovely way that it felt just right for the kiddos but us parents felt the “heavy” as we contemplated this time of year. All the kids threw their yule logs into the fire in an unusually quiet moment towards the end of the wild child-ness. Each child lit a candle and walked the solstice/advent path upon leaving. For those of you familiar with this waldorf tradition, yes we did a path rather than the traditional spiral for several reasons. It was a nice transition though from the bonfire party to the quieting down, going within and carrying light into the dark night home.

Wishing you all sweet solstice dreams…