Happy winter solstice

A long pull up to the shortest day, and now we turn again towards mid-summer when we can, if we wish, avoid darkness entirely.
The Christmas lights are crazy where we live; contagious and brazen.

This winter, the dark has been pulling us in to our homes, towards each other, closer.
My son, like most of us, has been deeply affected by the recent shootings in Connecticut. He is turning ten, and growing into himself, taking the world in, and its darknesses and light.

I've been reading about other interesting winter celebrations including Wren Day, traditionally celebrated in Celtic, Manx and Irish regions.

Apparently, the wren symbolizes the old year, while the robin symbolizes the year to come. To ensure that the passage from old to new could occur, boys would hunt and kill a wren on St. Stephen's Day (December 26). They would then travel from house to house with the wren on a pole or in a casket, asking for a penny to bury the wren.

According to Wikipedia, the origin may be a Samhain or midwinter sacrifice and/or celebration.
The wren is known to sing even in mid-winter. They are aggressive, territorial birds, as is the robin. Sing out, boys and birds!

"The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze;
Up with the kettle and down with the pan,
Pray give us a penny to bury the wran."
(Traditional Irish Wren song)


  1. This is a lovely reflection, Sarah. Sing out indeed. I wonder if the hunting and catching and showing around of the wren might also have had something to do with marking the boys' transition manward?


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