Memphis Democrat Column Week of 12/21/09

Hello! This is Danielle from Dancing Rabbit with praise for the changing of seasons, the quiet reflection of the winter months and a small brewing twinkle of next spring’s plans and schemes. I’m feeling rather poetic having just come from an early morning solstice celebration in Skyhouse, where we gathered this morning at 6:30 am for coffee, tea, cranberry orange muffins, corn muffins, Sheila’s sourdough pancakes and delicious eggs from our own Dan Durica’s lovely chickens (who are currently in the loving care of Dennis who it turns out makes the best scrambled eggs in the world). As the sun rose through the clouds and brightened a fresh cover of snow, we sat inside and sang old and new songs about the return of light in the sky. Last Night is when the celebration actually began; so let me back up a bit…

At dusk, we gathered with candles as Sharon treated us to a brief lesson on the meaning (scientific and spiritual) of the winter solstice. Scientifically, the solstice marks the moment in time when the earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. In other words, when the sun reaches its lowest point in our horizon, thus beginning its ascent again, marking the last and longest night of the winter. For many people, this is a time to celebrate the change from darkness to light, the slipping away of the still winter and the sneaking in of an abundant, alive and promising spring. For us, it was a time to reflect on what darkness means for us, how we feel during the winter, what we experience and learn from the season of rest and stillness.

After all the deep reflection, this morning felt light and joyful because, as Sharon pointed out, we are now closer to spring then we were in September! Hooray! Right now there are fewer of us on farm than usual. Many people are away for the winter, visiting family, friends, traveling, exploring etc… And I imagine it will become still sparser before spring shows up. But the small group reflects the season. We can be closer to each other and learn from each other in more detail. We can cease some if not all, of the constant doing and building and moving and running (well at least some of us can, there are some here who seem to work, play and live outdoors with as much vitality as most do in the summer!).
I feel so grateful to have experienced my first full turn of a season here at Dancing Rabbit, and I’m looking forward to the next one, and the next one, and the next one!I wish you all a wonderful holiday and happy Solstice!

See you next year,
Danielle