Yule draws nigh. The days are truly at their shortest and darkest. I add more lights and festive decorations, bring in greens from the yard, and count my candles. The dim light of day illuminates the beeswax sun ornament as rain obscures the sun which in any case is so low in the sky as to be a brief apparition only.
Below, the four-leggeds chase each other deosil around the tree. The garlands too are wound sunwise. This is our magic tree for the season. Every ornament has a story or a symbolism or both. Decorating a fragrant evergreen tree is one of my favorite traditions, the same and yet different every year, as are the celebrants around it.
“At this time of the rolling year,” as Jacob Marley would say, we swing between wildish celebration with others, or draw within to a holy place of stillness, as the sun appears to do. At the solstice, the sun seems to become stuck in the same rising and setting places on the horizon, to “stand still,” and we, like our ancestors, wait in the darkness for the light to return. And the wheel of the year turns on its hinge, and continues on its rolling way.