Another year has gone by and a couple of days ago it was December solstice again. In my part of the world this means very few hours of daylight. During midwinter I do my best to find my inner light.
If you are on my email list you will have received a solstice email. I don’t send emails very often outside of course launches and webinars, but I try to acknowledge solstices and equinoxes. After all, regardless of any religion or seasonal tradition, these events happen all over the world and remind us that we are all in this together.
During the past month or so I have had my winter photo goggles on, looking for light, motif and weather for a December solstice photo for you. I took one on a frosty day just in case we wouldn’t have any more cold days. I ended up using the featured photo with the mittens, though, so I give my spare photo to you now instead.
With the picture come two of my favourite Swedish words. Mossbelupen and frostnupen. The grammatical forms are very old and seldom appear in colloquial language, but fit very well in a more poetic setting. Mossbelupen means “moss covered”. Frostnupen means “frost pinched”. The suffixes -belupen and -nupen exist only in these compounds. My heart tingles with joy and excitement by the fact that these simple but wondrous phenomena have at one time been considered important enough to have their own word. So here it is in one picture – the rock behind our house, mossbelupen and the moss atop it frostnupen. A picture like that deserves the presence of a ball of handspun yarn, don’t you think?
It’s been a busy autumn. I just submitted my final exam for an online course in Comparative indigenous studies at Umeå University. So interesting and important. I’m quite exhausted now, though, yet a little wiser. I just finished my last day at work before a 2.5 week holiday. I will spend it with my family, wool, daily dips in the lake and any daylight I can catch.
I came across a beautiful article about how we can acknowledge solstice day by going inward, reflecting on this day and the days leading up to it and practicing self care. The article provides a list of ways to spend solstice day. One of my favourite suggestions from the list is to channel my creative energy through crafts. Perhaps you find something that suits you even on the days following solstice day. I spent a few minutes of this day at noon in the lake, feeling the elements embrace me and the pale midwinter sun warm in my face.
I wish you all peace, health and light.
P.S. If you have some time over during the holidays or just want to sneak out from family and friends for a while I can highly recommend my free five-day challenge Fleece through the senses that I published in August 2020. The challenge is nothing special, you do all the work while I ask a few questions. The lovely thing about this challenge, though, is the community in it. Over 700 people have taken on the challenge and there are over 500 comments in the comments sections of the challenge (with replies from me). This means that there is a heap of things to learn from fellow students. So if you haven’t taken the challenge: Do it! And if you have: Do it again! You have probably learned a thing or two since the first time and you will probably understand your wool journey with even more depth a second time. Take part in your fellow spinners’ wisdom and contribute with your own.
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