Monday, 27 December 2010

Solstice and Christmas

I've just had a lovely Solstice and Christmas. I do hope many of you can say the same, including those who don't celebrate either.

The source of much of my joy was, of course, other people. My community of friends came up trumps for the Solstice. A huge fire in deep snow; dogs haring round the field (didn't spot any hares dogging though) and children playing, building, running, laughing, sometimes crying, occasionally even sitting down. 

 Building the Solstice Fire

And the music, of course. We all added our magic in different ways, but I am blessed to have a group of friends who can conjure treasure from the air even with very cold fingers.

And there is me,  dancing on the right, with our bundled baby. And not making music.

I love to dance, my singing voice is not painful to passersby and I have a good sense of rhythm, so I can hand drum a bit, but I can play nothing which makes a tune. I was put off by years of enforced squawking, scraping and screeching on the recorder and violin. It was awful! If I were to play anything it would be cello, but I cannot bear the thought of dragging such a bulk about with me. I like to travel as light as possible (Ha ha say my fellow parents, but I can at least not take a cello too!).

But, one of my daughter's stocking presents on Christmas morning was a harmonica.  I had bought it for less than £2, so I'm guessing it's not top of the range. But I love it! My daughter hasn't sussed blowing yet, so she just sucks it, but I've been having so much fun demonstrating to entertain her. And it fits in my pocket. Perfect.

 Christmas Eve
(and my hair being indistinguishable from the plants behind!)

 So now I have yet another New Year's resolution - to learn to play the harmonica. And maybe that will help me move onto my other ambition of being one of the people brave enough to sing round fires. It's happened, but often the inspiration to sing is overwhelmed by shyness.

So I'm left with a couple of thoughts. I believe I'm shy and antisocial in groups, which fits with my relief that being a writer can, at least for the main part, be done alone. But some of my shiniest times are in company, and not always when I feel super-confident either. Sometimes, and here's the weird thing, I'm in company I'm a little unsure of, I feel shy and inhibited, and I still have a really good time. This will take more musing.

Also,  it becomes more and more apparent to me that all the ways I am a creative being enhance each other. And that other people's creativity enhances mine too. So maybe that impulse to massage the world into aesthetic form for a moment is, not the vulnerable exposure to others I sometimes veer away from, but my strand of the web which connects us all and feeds us, strengthens each of us.

 Dreamweaving Traditional Devonshire Yule Log

And isn't that a good way to enter the new year? Even if I don't stick to all my ad hoc resolutions, I can hold to this thought: that when I fear being creative with others, it will be the act of creation itself which will dispel the fear.

Happy New Year one and all! May all your most ambitious dreams come true :o).


  1. Brilliant & insightful! xxx

  2. Lively pictures of you all in the snow. It looks so cold and magical. I didn't manage to make a Solstice fire this year (well, in my fireplace doesn't count)
    Best of luck playing music in the new year! Singing around a fire is amazing but it's hard to get people going sometimes. Someone has to be the first, you know?

  3. Dancing with your bundled baby and "not making music"?? But dancing with a bundled baby IS music.

  4. Will be dancing it all with you Tabitha, at:
    Hope lots of people can join us :o).

    Claire, fireplace fires so DO count. I say this because I am renting and have a chrome gas fire, so am in envy of you wood burners. And maybe I will soon dare to be the first. We'll see what happens when we go wassailing.

    And Nazneen, yo are of course right - it's the best kind of music. But also I am LOVING my little harmonica.

    Love to all,

  5. Hello Lunar
    Happy New Year!
    Thank you for your kind words :)
    I completely agree with you, change was coming. When I wrote that post back in late 2009, i never would've imagined what the coming year had in mind for me. It has been an amazing ride :)
    I would be happy to stay in touch. The blog I post regularly on now is:

    Love the solstice bonfire by the way. You guys look so happy and surrounded by magic :)

  6. Hi there!
    Thanks for following my blog, I just popped over to visit and thought ahhh, I've seen that photo (singing round the fire) before! Blogland is a small world isn't it?! Just had to write that I felt exactly the same as you, about learning the guitar, put if off for years because of bad experiences at school. Finally started this year (only took me 25 years to get around to it) and I'm LOVING it. It's SOOO different coming from a place of wanting to do it for yourself, not because you've been told to. Go for it, learn that harmonica, and enjoy every moment. And another funny thing...though I have sung in public before, having an instrument between me and the 'audience' seems to give me courage to just sing, in front of all sorts of people I never would before. Just imagine next solstice by the fire, and some serious blues harmonica floating out on the wind, provided by you!

  7. Luna, I'm right behind you.

    Lofty mermaid, yes, we shall play and dance and sing and make merry and all shall be well :o).


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