Winter Solstice 2011
This night’s longest darkness entices and calls
to an instinct, profound and arcane, which enthralls.
‘Tis a drive to remark, witness each new detail,
both subtle and vivid, as mysteries unveil.
So we don coat and scarf, with familial assent
and thus bundled embark, with a mindful intent,
strolling, silent, star-lit with moon-blessings bestowed,
to share ritual tableaus in our neighbors’ abodes.
Our first host offers latkes, shows 8 candles abreast,
plus the Shamash to flame in turn each wick that’s blessed.
Baruchs soon exalt, resounding blessings and praise
Feting lamps that with scant oil in darkness yet blazed.
At a neighbor’s new home: cookies, cakes, mulled Bordeaux.
Their display: a proud evergreen garbed and aglow
with bright globes, stars, & tinsel wound ‘round the pine’s girth,
amid carols replete with joy, heralding birth.
A friend’s family describes how their tribute is paid
during Kwanzaa: their table with mkeka is laid,
with crops and kinara, tapers black, red, and green
honoring People, their struggle, the hope that it gleans.
As we wander home, steeped in traditions distinct
I’m struck by themes with which they seem interlinked:
Family, faith, hope, and light (amid bleakness) bright-shining
with fervor when Midwinter’s stars are aligning.
Echoing ancient rites: logs, candles, evergreen boughs,
on this solstice night rituals proclaim: Hope, arouse!
For ‘mid darkness can faith in renewal, when extolled,
shift our journey toward light and abundance foretold.
From this commonplace promise my heart blooms, serene,
with renewed hope that all this plain message may glean:
Though diverse, in our linked earth-web we can delight
if every other we love; create peace; give Grace flight.
Copyright December 21,2011 Cal J Domingue