Monday, December 21, 2009
Brighter Days Ahead
Thanks to Daryl Lafleur at the Northampton Redoubt for alerting us to the winter solstice celebration at Arcadia Monday night. Kelly had to work, but I bundled up the bloggerette and the two of us made our way there for the frigid festivities.
This turned out to be a much bigger celebration than I had expected. There were probably close to a couple hundred people. Everyone seemed cheery and talkative, the cold darkness only adding to the excitement.
The celebration began with poetry and song, both well crafted and well delivered, setting the mood for the evening and drawing appreciative applause and cheers from the expanding crowd.
It was a beautifully crisp and clear winter night. Away from the city and street lights, all the stars were brightly visible. The waxing moon and Venus was on one end of the sky and Orion was rising above the tree line on the other. I absent-mindedly continued clicking away with the flash on, trying to get a good shot of the crowd until I got a mild rebuke from one of the blinded star-gazers, with a stern "Duuude; Chill."
We listened to the speakers and singers and after a while, although bloggerette wasn't acting uncomfortable, I was getting a little concerned with how she might be faring in the icy wind. So we took a break and crunched over the snow to the nearby sanctuary building. Here there was cider and pie and above all, warmth. We hung out in there for a little bit until some kids came running in, excitedly declaring "They're lighting the fire!"
Time to get back out there.
The fire grew quick and to the delight of the crowd, soon it was quite the conflagration.
The baby had never seen a bonfire, it was a first for her...and I had never been to a Solstice celebration. A first for me. A couple of times someone would attempt to sing out a holiday song, and just as it seemed to catch on with more members of the crowd, it would suddenly peter out before taking hold. The spirit was there, just not quite the gumption...
Although the fire was warm and the mood inviting, Bloggerette's nose and cheeks were now turning bright red. A sneeze later and I figured it was best to get going. One final gaze into the fire and the crowd...
...before heading out.
Interestingly, when we were some distance away, one last look over our shoulders revealed something was astir above the solstice celebrators, perhaps even beyond their dimension...
Hmm ...Some kind of sign? ...An omen? ...A winter spirit summoned, ouija-like, by the celebration? ...Lens flare?
Topics: -This And That