Happy Anniversary Midge!
The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment
December 23, 2023
In this issue, we celebrate the 5th anniversary of everyone's favorite bookworm. On Dec. 22, 2018, Midge Lyn'dee published her first book review with The Loop newspaper. Since then, more than 150 reviews have been written, 350 books explored and countless gems of wisdom provided. Join us as we thank Midge for inspiring us to pick up a book, grab a cup of our favorite warm beverage and get lost in words. Keep us reading Midge!
Have you been celebrating this December? Celebrating with family and friends? Celebrating at Christmas parties with co-workers? Celebrating the completion of holiday decorating? Presents all wrapped and waiting? Recipes decided and groceries bought to make a feast? The family on the way to your place or being all packed for a journey of your own? As the last of the December holidays approach, a very quiet event may have slipped by you.
On Dec. 21 at 7:27 p.m. pacific time, the Winter Solstice gave us our shortest day of the year along with the longest night. Did you plant your bare feet on the good earth and dance around a crackling fire under the stars? Probably not, though it does sound exciting if not a bit chilly on these cold nights!
To celebrate Winter Solstice is to put into motion an appreciation for the ending of darkness as one year finishes and the growing light of a new year approaches. Our days will now grow longer every 24 hours, moving us toward summer.
While we look forward to some snow and cozy winter nights, may I offer you "Winter Tales" by Dawn Casey. She has compiled folk stories from around the world that delight both young and old and those who remain young at heart. Themed around nature, enjoy "The White Bear King," "The Snow Maiden" and "The Silver Pine Cones." There are also traditional favorites like "The Nutcracker" and perhaps some new ones to you, that might become favorites.
Carolyn McVickar Edwards offers 12 traditional Solstice tales in "The Return of the Light." Around the globe, from Scandinavian to Polynesian shores, the folklore provided celebrates nature from its dark winter days growing into the rebirth of our earth from spring into summer. There is even an Inuit story called "Raven Steals the Light." There are those ravens again!
At the end of the book are songs that can be sung together as a family or group. Singing is a delightful pastime that sometimes is forgotten in the rush of other things. Rev up those lungs and warm up the vocal cords.
"The Wheel of the Year" by Fiona Cook and Jessica Roux is a beautifully illustrated and interactive guide to nature and the connected holidays and customs. Coming full circle, it highlights the year through both the Winter and Summer Solstices and the many days of sights, sounds and smells in between. With the addition of crafts and outing suggestions, it is a great book to be used as encouragement for children to explore the natural world around them while giving us adults a simple and enlightening re-visit as well. Simple pleasures and nature excursions feed the soul. Hold a surviving autumn leaf in your hand. Let the weak winter sunlight shine through it. Catch a snowflake to melt on your tongue. Mold snow into a ball and have some fun.
Through our busy December holidays, Winter Solstice brings us a simple and wondrous gift if we accept it. Winter Solstice can slow us down, giving us a time of pause where we can catch up with others as well as ourselves. We can invite people over for a social gathering into our homes, offering a home cooked meal, warm conversation and maybe games. Or we can sit alone with ourselves to reflect on our past year and the new year that will take its place. As the days grow longer, we can decide how to put our mark on 2024. Will we attempt a new project? Finish an old one? Plan a spring garden? Make reservations for a summer vacation? Will we reach for a new job? Find satisfaction wherever we land?
So many possibilities are in the offing and the celebrations to come next December are in the making within our everyday life right now. Remember to celebrate with a nod to the Winter Solstice and watch the light growing each day. Rejoice in the light that welcomes us to a new year and guides our steps from a long winter nap into a new spring. We are very lucky to be cared for so generously, to be given light.
*Midge Lyn'dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.