CLIFF CREGO | Winter Fire . . . Winter Solstice in North America

Winter Fire . . . Winter Solstice in North America [click photo for next . . . ]

If you're like me, and you feel the need to take
refuge from what Western corporate culture has done
with one of the most sacred seasons of the natural year,
then this page is for you.

For me, Solstice Time is a very special, deeply quiet time
of year, which comes and goes not like a noisy freight truck,
but more like a slow wave, more like a large bell that rings out
into the mysterious snowy silence of the fresh, open expanse
of an essentially still untracked new and future year.

On the road in the Northwest of America.

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That quiet time of year when thoughts
of the past naturally turn to face the
stars of the North, and we sit in front
of the winter fire, alone,

gently burning away the burden of what
has been. Old books go, manuscripts go,
bills, letters never sent, even things we
wish we would have said. We watch

them burn, the crackling sound of the dry
pine bringing the hard, heavy oak into flame,
irregular remindings of the unexpected
which broods and ripens

within the silent, glowing coals. That dark
time of year of many candles and delicate strings
of white lights that helps us remember
the slower, more subtle rhythms

of the Earth itself, now not confused
by too much of the sun's glare. Some spaces
are meant to be empty; they're precious,
vulnerable, but oh-so-easy prey for

the religious contractors pounding at the
door or trying to get down the chimney at night.
But the fire is hot enough, and there's the simple
promise of handmade gifts which do not arrive

until spring. For weeks now, the sound of carols,
old and new, has been heard during the evening
hours, a sound passed on from village to village,
like a fire which must not be allowed to die out.

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All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 2011
(created: XII.21.2011)