The first official day of winter and the shortest daylight of the year arrived with a spectacular sunrise.  I spent the morning with my friend. He had a bad night so it was a day of quiet and snoozing in the sun. I checked on the cows through the window. He is expecting a Christmas Calf any day now and the lovely brown ladies were hanging near the barn ruminating. One looked up regularly, even from a distance there is a sense of calm when you look into a cow’s eyes.

I brought him sparkling cranberries and brownies, both were savored in tiny bites as the sugar is not good for him. When he settled in his chair for a nap I noticed the last of the Chex Mix I had brought last week, another forbidden pleasure though I cut out much of the salt. He munched happily on a handful before the bowl slipped to his lap as he drifted off.  I sat cross-legged on the end of his bed, watching the thin December light filter through the curtains.

We shared a light lunch and I came home to address my lack of holiday decorating. It turns out the damage done by the mice was not as extensive as I originally thought. Most of the Christmas decorations were untouched. It was an opportunity to clean out some of the less appropriate or outgrown things. A small pile of stockings bearing the names of dogs and friends long gone, were never going to hang by the fire again. Stuffed Santas of questionable quality or recollections were weeded out and donated in favor of the cherished pieces that graced so many of my homes in the past.

Instead of cutting a tree, I lit up my fig tree and trimmed it with glass icicles. It would be a bit more festive if it wasn’t in it’s annual shedding phase but with the lights down low it is charming.

Gifts are few but carefully chosen and cards are written only to those who I have not seen in years. It is a time for reflection and appreciation for the simple things.


10 thoughts on “Solstice”

  1. Winter Solstice is my favorite day of the season. Because it is the shortest day of the year, once it has passed, the days get longer. Winter is far from over (heck, it hasn’t really begun except according to the calendar) but just the thought of longer days makes me smile. Unless the sugar and salt bring pain to your friend, in his condition a little indulgence probably goes a long way. A bet your fig tree looks lovely!

  2. I, too, love this day. All uphill from here!

    We’re having a green Christmas this year as it’s been an unseasonably warm December and our precip has been in the form of heavy rains instead of the more lovely (and mood-inducing) white stuff. No matter. It’s still a beautiful holiday season and family is the most important thing.

    BTW — loved this: even from a distance there is a sense of calm when you look into a cow’s eyes.

    Love your way with words, girlfriend. Season’s Greetings to you and yours!!!

  3. Lovely sky! We had a nice one tonight…but they say the clouds will be back shortly.
    Barns such nice places to visit in winter (cows do have those eyes)- a Christmas calf (Who may end up in the kitchen if the weather turns?)
    Good news about the decorations. Fig tree sounds like a good choice. Nothing like tree lights wot cheer.

  4. What a sunrise. We have had so many grey days I’ve forgotten how lovely they can be. Our decorations are always few but there is always room for a glass bell or two, inherited from my mother and reminders of childhood trees.

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