Across cultures, from Hanukkah to Advent to St Lucia Day, candles are lit as winter’s darkness descends.
Here at Turner Farm, a solstice bonfire illuminates the longest night. A diameter of nearly 50 feet, it is a brilliant amalgam of branches, underbrush, whole felled trees, loosened shingles and rotted fence posts, all burning simultaneously to extinguish our accumulated trash and celebrate the return of light.
Words written on paper, describing what we no longer need, are tossed into the flames, destroyed instantaneously and magnificently. Prayers are placed in the fire as well; hopes for the New Year rise in the smoke to the place where heaven and earth meet.
On this Christmas Eve, a night of eager expectation, prayers are answered in bright holiday greetings. As certain as the outcome of placing fuel to flame, the darkness will end and the light will come again.