Later this morning – at 11:28 EST to be exact – when for a brief moment the sun sits directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, the Northern hemisphere will slip quietly into winter on the shortest day of the year. Our boon for entering months of colder temperatures? Longer days for sunshine to caress my upturned face with more minutes of it’s golden rays to splash across my camera’s sensor. Although I enjoy photographing at night, in low light and and am no stranger to on-camera flash in darkness with my event work, the extra minutes of illumination are much appreciated for my personal work…or for capturing moments quickly with my iPhone.
Today, I intend to rise with the sun and enjoy a quiet day tidying up my home (currently a disaster zone), finishing my Christmas cards, wrapping gifts and decorating my back yard for the holidays, similar to a few years ago, but nowhere near as impressive. In order to prepare for the day and the decorating, I visited a friend to pick up some greens. We catch up on one another’s lives over several cups of coffee, while Tigger the cat looks on. While we chat, I photograph her windowsills, quiet little vignettes of green, a testament to preserving summer during the chilly months ahead. We snip some Holly and Ivy for my decorations, and then I am on my way.
Once the Holly and the Ivy have been hung, I’ll enjoy a cup of tea next a peaceful fire and toast the end of darkness and the return of the light. Then later in the evening, my husband and I will hold our annual winter releasing ceremony, where in silence, we scribble down our most dreaded insecurities, painful thoughts, fears and anxieties on tiny bits of paper and then cast them amongst the flames, leaving them behind to get lost in this darkest night.
It’s a small ritual I first practiced seven years ago and even though I hadn’t managed to commit to all my intentions, the following year I was at it again, and have been every year since. I highly recommend it, if you’re looking to incorporate your own personal rituals into this time of year, and be sure to capture a few photos.
Until next time, Happy Solstice!
Holly ~ Soupatraveler