Monday, December 23, 2013

A view from Cushendall, Ireland.

A lovely view of winter from Cushendall, Ireland. This photo was taken by my friend
and storyteller extraordinaire, Liz Weir.

The Winter Solstice has passed balancing the dark and the light. My old house welcomed friends and family as we gathered on that night to share each other's cooking, read poetry, and sing songs. We ended the night by lighting my Christmas tree and singing "Oh Christmas Tree."

As each guest left I handed them a bag of cornmeal to scatter around their favorite tree. It is an old Solstice custom.

As we near Christmas I have photos from friends and poems to share with you as well. The above photo was taken by Liz Weir who lives in Ireland. I had the opportunity to spend time with Liz a few years ago in Ireland and also in the United States. On this day she is snowed in by an old-fashioned blizzard!

The poem is from John Cunningham. I think it fits the photo very well. Enjoy the poem and, if you feel like it, please dance a jig at the end! We read this poem at our Solstice party.

"The dark of winter wraps around us tight.
The lamps are fired, and flickering light 
beats time to the fiddle as notes float softly down, 
like the years' first snow.

While outside the window a blast of late December wind
whistles harmony to the drone of the pipes.
We push the old year back against the wall
so we can dance a jig for Christmas
and welcome in the New Year."

John Cunningham
Dublin, Ireland