More and more I like to celebrate the turning seasons, and more and more I realise that each marker is another beginning and end. Just as halloween/ Samhain/ bonfire night/ harvest festival marks the end of the harvest, the end of the summer it is also a time of new beginnings – the winter solstice is also an ending – the nights have finally got to their longest and from tomorrow the days will start to get longer again and we enter a brand new year.
For many years I have wanted to have a bonfire on the shortest day – I imagine a crisp frosty day, or maybe even snow on the ground and my family and I wrapped up in hats and gloves sitting around a lunchtime fire drinking mulled apple juice and generally trying to entice back the sun. The weather hasn’t played.
Today though, albeit fairly mild and no snow or frost, it wasn’t raining – quite a contrast to the days before and the forth coming horrendous wet weather that is forecast. And we are feeling quite festive – egged on by my son developing his usual festive lurgy – the pressure is on as always to enjoy the bits we can (before lurgy wins) – and so we bonfired. Dry wood had been stashed to get the fire going and we were soon warm enough, even those running a temperature, to sit and have a picnic lunch (home made pork and egg raised pie – oh my) washed down with our traditional elderflower champagne.
We not only bonfired, we also marshmallowed – using our cunningly designed marshmallow toasting stand – a brick.
Well that’s it – we tried. We lit fires, we feasted and toasted – drinks and marshmallows. Back in side the house is festooned with fairy lights and we lit the woodburner. Hopefully we have done enough, the world wont end today after all and the sun will return.