I'm a fan of the winter solstice for one big reason: finally the days are going to get longer again! I love the dark tunneling of the days leading up to the big dark when everything seems to stand still and impossibly brief and dark. That's the day we usually put up our tree, and so tonight's drawings are of the two oldest ornaments that we own. These are little wooden things that were on my mother's mother's tree, and I was told that they were old when I first saw them there. They're made of wooden beads strung on elastic, and their arms and legs can be positioned different ways. They're fairly indestructible, and so they were always placed low on the tree on hefty branches, down where the little kids could play with them. On the left is Humpty Dumpty and on the right is The French Policeman.
Winter solstice demands some outdoor time, preferably at sunset, and most preferably a mountain hike with Jacob. Last year it was extremely cold and extremely windy but the sun shone brightly and we lingered on the overlook until the sun dropped below distant mountains on the horizon. This year it rained all day, and by 4:15 when we set out it was almost dark. We went to a different trail than last year, gave ourselves 15 minutes to walk up, at which point we would have to turn around in order to get back in time for Jacob to get home by 5:30. It was warm enough to be comfortable even though rain dropped on us the whole time. We fairly galloped up the trail and actually reached the Mountains to the Sea Trail with time to amble down it a short distance. J. said it was a creepy little trail, and in that almost-dark, foggy, drizzly twilight it was. Coming down was easy and fast, but wet leaves made it a little tricky. The drawings here are from memory and are simply impressions. The one on the right is of the sky at 3:30 PM when the clouds broke for a few minutes and the actual sun blinked through before the clouds covered it again and for the rest of the afternoon and evening.