Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice


An interesting thing happens when you live in a very small house off-grid, without indoor plumbing.  It becomes impossible to ignore the outside world.  There's not enough room inside to do much, so you go outside to do things.  When the sun goes down, the room gets dark.  Every time you walk to the outhouse, you feel the weather, see the stars.  The full moon shining in the window wakes you up at night.  And it begins to feel as if you have MORE room, as if the whole world is your house.

When I go to visit someone in a big house now, I feel claustrophobic.  Instead of spending their time running around a great big space the way I do, they seem to live in a small world inside their four walls (though I'm sure they don't see it that way).

I love being in tune with the climate and the seasons: in my clothes, in what I eat, in my sleeping habits.  People think that I live without luxuries but, to me, having the whole world as my house is the greatest luxury there is.

Today is the winter solstice.  It's our New Year's Eve.  We'll do a small ceremony this evening.  We'll extinguish all the lights, and go outside with a glass of wine and a candle each.  We'll propose a toast to the coming year, then light our candles and bring the light back into the house.


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