And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Solstice

The Old Year is dead. Long live the New Year (well, you know, except for being an election year, that part could go fast). Light fires, burn the Yule log, shout to the heavens, dance, feast, give life to the Sun. Bring in the holly and the ivy, the evergreens to remind us that life is and will be. Light the tree in honor of their everlasting presence. The Wheel has turned, light will return.

Whenever I hear people talking about "getting back to the good ol' religion," I'm always reminded of Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth. When Bill Moyer brought up the subject of fundamentalism, Prof. Campbell sang "Give me that Zarathustra, just like we use-ta, oh give me that ol' time religion."

It's winter, the Coyote sings.


ThatGreenyFlower said...

You know, this is a really lovely post. Thanks for the glimpse of something ancient and true.

Steve Buchheit said...

You're welcome, Greeny (whose screen name is oh so very appropriate now). When I hear the Catholic League president, or some of my neighbors talk about the "Reason for the Season" I have to restrain myself from going all old school on them. Talking about how the church sublimated the messages of the seasons, which is why we have the Promise of Light in the Winter (Xmas), Regeneration/Resurrection (Easter) in the Spring, The Fertility of the World (Annunciation and Assumption of Mary) in the Summer, Harvest (which has lately been a name for Christ, the Lord of the Harvest, but it typically All Souls). I'm not sure they'd also appreciate me talking about how Xmas was a very minor holiday, barely celebrated by our founders and the schismists they like to point to as those who settled the US. Then in the Victorian Era, with her marriage to a German Prince, the celebration of Xmas really took off, and defined how we celebrate the holiday now (before it was mostly with feasts and partying).

A Christmas Carol (1845?) was specifically written because 1) Dickens had to pay off debt and 2) he deplored the then common practice of making the day a regular work day with maybe a big dinner at the end.

But this time of year does call to our most ancient thoughts (at least in the northern hemisphere). It's very difficult to ignore that the world turns and we are a part of it all when light and heat are in short supply.

Matt Mitchell said...

Steve, this is a truly great post. If you don't mind I think I'll put it on my blog.

Steve Buchheit said...

Matt, no worries. Feel free, just give me a by line and I'm happy.