Winter Solstice, Morning ‘Til Night

BarnMaple and swing

Winter streamstockings

chickadeeTufted Titmouse

Small CrecheDickens Village


GingerbreadGingerbread and whipped cream

Apple tree and birdhousesYellow birdhouse

Maple and CupolaMiss Lavender's

Blue lightsWooden star ornament

Tree topperMemory candles

The Royal MailLight


We woke to a layer of white, fluffy snow on the winter solstice. There were several inches a few weeks back but it had nearly all melted. I got some shots of the little birds at the feeder and while I was out near the barn a raven flew over, croaked once and then just the sharp sound of his wings slicing air in the silence. I didn’t even think to take a photo….that sound of wings was everything. I decided last week that I’d make gingerbread on the solstice after listening to an old episode of the Splendid Table. Host Lynne Rossetto Kasper mentioned that the making and eating of gingerbread was an old English solstice tradition. Ginger then, as now, was considered medicinal and gingerbread a fairly palatable way to consume it. I ended up mixing two recipes; this one and this one. One has slightly different spices. I mixed them all! The result was a not too dense, not too cakey gingerbread. I made up some whipped cream and, truth be told, had a little maple cream on mine. It was a low-key kind of day. In the evening I lit some candles, one for my grandmother who passed away seven years ago on the solstice, and one for poet Claudia Emerson who died way too young a couple weeks ago. There’s something fitting and right about lighting flames for extinguished souls. The act of lighting those candles put me in a state of remembrance for the rest of the long, dark night.

4 thoughts on “Winter Solstice, Morning ‘Til Night

  1. Thank you for the beautiful photos Sarah….they are very peaceful looking and look like where I live in Maine. I wrote previously about my husband and his poems and you helping him. Instead I would like to get him in the Squam workshop but I am having trouble getting on the website. I will keep trying though . Thanks again for viewing if photos! Nance Pembroke, Maine

  2. Nance, Sorry you’re having trouble getting to the Squam site. I think your husband would really like it. Here’s the link to the basic June retreat page, I’m not sure if this will be a clickable link. If not, just copy and paste into your browser
    You can click my email link on the ‘editing and consultation’ page and I’ll send you the link through email if this still doesn’t work. Have a great holiday.

  3. Lovely pictures Sarah. There’s nothing like some snow on the ground for Christmas. I too lit some candles last night, two of them, in memory of my Mom and Dad. I lost both of them this year, only two months apart. When I read about you making some gingerbread, it reminded me so much of my Mom. She always made gingerbread around Christmas, usually just for a dessert at dinner. Sometimes we had whipped cream, but usually we had her “hot lemon sauce” on top. I just dug out the recipe tonight, I haven’t made it for years.
    Our family will have two empty chairs at the table this year, but a lifetime of beautiful memories. Christmas Day my parents would have been married 64 years (they had a Christmas wedding since my Dad was home on leave from the Army) so we always had a double celebration.
    Thanks for sharing your pictures and thoughts. Your words are always so vivid. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  4. Thanks For sharing Robin. I’m so sorry for your double loss this year. My uncle died a couple years after my grandmother and the family home was sold too, so our Christmas traditions have been completely changed. I was just thinking last night that you don’t know how long something will last. I never thought during all those family Christmas Eve parties that one day it would all be gone. Thank God for memory.
    Speaking of hot lemon sauce. I had a piece of the gingerbread tonight and put lemon curd on it. Fantastic!
    Again, thanks for sharing this with me. Happy Holidays.

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