December 20, 12:30 p.m. I shoveled out the fire bowl and selected a Yule log from a woodpile that's been in the garage since I moved here, and had it set up when I'm told it's going to rain that night. I covered the bowl and logs and most of the kindling with plastic. It does rain that night. The wood stays dry.
December 21, 2 p.m.: Yule. Neighbor Terri and I meet for Yule lunch. It happens to be 66 degrees. We have ice cream.
|Terri's natural ornaments|
3:45 p.m.: While there's still light, Terri, who is an artist, brings over a beautiful collection of handmade natural ornaments made of feathers, fungi, and acorn caps, balls of suet wrapped with jute, and more, and I've made ornaments too, and we hang them on a bare little serviceberry tree not far from the firebowl, and it is adorable.
4:00 p.m.: I try to light the fire.
4:15 p.m.-8 p.m.: Using sawdust starters that were homemade by her son Patrick, Terri lights the fire and keeps it alive and flaming for hours while we sat in folding chairs and talked and threw dried herbs on the fire and burnt little slips of paper with what we want to leave behind and what we want for the future, and drank wine in glasses printed with stars and moons. And said goodbye to the sun when it set, and admired the moon and moon shadows. And moved our chairs ever closer to the fire, which took on several shapes and wonderful colors as wood was added. Then it got rather cold to stay sitting still and we went back into our respective houses.
10:45 p.m.: I'm outside in the moonlight setting up dozens of bottle rockets to fire at 10:48 (time of the solstice) and fire those and more until I'm tired of firing them.