16 years back on the wintertime Solstice, Walter and We made both . 5 hour trip up from Charlotte, NC, where we had been living, to Floyd to close on the house and the house that is shortly to become Jubilee’s. In those days there was just a little regular publication/literary rag The Museletter getting desk-top released in Floyd that I’d used a glimmer to. Within the Museletter I’d noticed that Zephyr Dec, a small, regional intentional community, will be hosting their normal Solstice container and Spiral good luck, and anyone was thanks for visiting come. I known as Jayn (the hostess) in advance to inform her we’d prefer to come, and she cheered us on.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Solstice Spiral, this paragraph in the Sparkle Stories Blog will clue you to why we like to spiral to mark the longest night of the year.
“This “spiraling” represents going inward – during the darkest time of the year – and kindling your own inner light. To us, where the winter is dark and long, it’s a significant act. Our spiral has a Christian impulse too, as we’re also celebrating Advent, and anticipating the arrival of Christ over the four Sundays of Advent. You can bring to yours whatever feels significant to you in this time of year – whether that be in celebration of the winter solstice, or of the coming of Christmas, or simply of walking the journey of life with family and friends. “
Walter and did attend Zephyr’s Solstice Spiral in 1998, not knowing a single soul in Floyd, but believing we would make soul connections. And we certainly did. In fact, the other two founding members of Jubilee Cohousing, Dick and Diane Giessler, who worked diligently with us for several years on the baby steps of the project were there, lived there, at Zephyr. I remember Dick invited us to come check out their (singing, friendly) church, Zion Lutheran, which actually adjoins our Jubilee property and where we still hold our monthly Jubilee meetings to this day. Other Zephyr folks and members from the broader community were there to honor the dark, lighting and putting candles alone once we spiraled, of December wind and song after that blending voices inside a breathtaking mix. Afterward we distributed a delicious great quantity – one particular famous Floyd potlucks – in the heat of Jayn’s very little cabin. Lots of the folks who have there been that night have grown to be our friends.
Back in 1998 we were courageously stepping into a deep “dark” of the unknown about Floyd, trusting in the star that seems to guide us, remembering that the light, the warmth, always returns and we do find our way, and believing that the light we were actually looking for that year would shine for us not from our new house, but from our fresh community.
And, friends, it really is most thus certainly.
On Winter season Solstice this season I proceeded to go with a fellow Jubilee member plus some kids to a family group Solstice Spiral party in Ferrum, VA. I had been aware once we going out for what guaranteed to be always a fun family members event that Jubilee existence will continue steadily to grow to have significantly more and more children inside it to cherish, which produced me experience warm and quite merry.
All afternoon and early evening I had fashioned an enthusiastic appreciation for how very well most kids usually do- getting on their sociable feet, even though they don’t previously know one another – when they’re thrown collectively (without expectations) right into a group play environment. Within moments in our appearance the three sponsor children were allowing the visitor children to explore the play area, and even introducing them to several hens and a rooster. Later, as more children arrived the circle just kept expanding to include many ages, and many interests.
Among the younger children I noticed a beautiful skillfulness in how they waited for turns on the trampoline, the swing, or for a turn pulling or riding in the wagon. They passed the waiting time with great humor along with other made up additional games.
Older young boys formed their very own loose generation, wandering farther afield and using wooden swords in areas where they might not harm any children. But one very little boy was extremely aware of the best guys and their awesomely great props. A stay was present by him of his very own that he converted to his sword.
A little afterwards I watched among the youngest children frequently tried without success to climb onto a huge upended log he’d noticed a huge kid jump onto and from so conveniently. As he attempted he stated plaintively “I wish to get on right here” again and again. No-one else heard him. No one found help. this small scrapper didn’t quit, didn’t scream or fuss, he simply proved helpful and worked until he accomplished his goal. Victories like that may be small but they are nice. Having older ones to model competence for us helps us learn to believe in ourselves, and we progress more rapidly.
The children swung gracefully from one activity to another in free bands, watched over from your edges by the grown-ups who were enjoying their own company. Every once in a while someone would step in to drive a swing, or redirect a possible misadventure, but no one hovered and everyone laughed.
Watching one of the visitors with the family doggie reminded me how important it will be to have pets in our and our children’s lives at Jubilee, and how much a well behaved, trustworthy and friendly pet adds to community fun.
What I was observing (and wholeheartedly enjoying) I managed to capture with my camera. These photos might just as easily be of Jubilee Cohousing children when our community is built out in a just a couple of years, and I found myself thinking again what a boon it will be to not have to travel such a distance or up and down treacherous mountain roads for such great inter-generational play dates.
imagesIn the end, our two children were tired out before the ritual of the spiral actually took place. We bundled them into the warm car and headed down the steep dirt road into the longest, darkest night (as it was also the night of the new moon/no moon.) The youngsters were asleep within a couple of minutes.
Personally, I love this solstice time. The habit is usually treasured by me I’ve created of inviting the dark times, the cold also, and making time and energy to evaluate the “seed products” I’ve collected. It is now time or calendar year to decide extremely consciously what I’ll plant and have a tendency to this following twelve month routine. I understand the light and ambiance will go back to the planet bringing all sorts of activity, and whatever I flower will grow. Here in the dark I take the opportunity to visit deeper to improve my roots during the quiet of winter season.
This year, on the day before the solstice I finished a large collage I’d started two weeks before at a small gathering of six Floyd women hosted and lovingly structured by Sarah Beth Jones. We were all there to assemble images and terms that symbolize for us our intentions for the next 12 months. It helps me a lot to be able to see the collage I’ve completed and be daily visually reminded of the significance of numerous top priority romantic relationships, practices and tasks. It works with me to imagine the direction they are spiraling jointly in strands generally, and exactly how I weave in and out to generate the lifestyle I enjoy live rhythmically.