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.