Solstice Eve

The winter solstice arrives in a few hours (12.30am, for those on the East Coast of North America). Tonight is Solstice Eve, and we are surrounded by the poetic possibilities of the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

Alas, rain has forced our local celebration indoors, traditionally a beautiful bonfire-centered event held each year at the confluence of the three rivers that run through historic Concord, Massachusetts. It is pure magic, as the drummers drum and the chorus sings, and the sparks fly upwards beyond the treetops into the star-lit sky, a special collaboration between community members, the Emerson Umbrella Center for Arts and the Musketaquid program for Arts and the Environment. Tonight, however, we will celebrate holding the wonder of the woods in our imaginations.

And to keep a little of that wonder and possibility going, a poem written for the occasion (imagine the drumbeats, the bonfire, the space to wish ahead):


>click to listen to audio recording of poem In the Dark of Solstice Light

In the dark we have light,

In the cold, warm delight

In the crowd, we find peace

In the Solstice, release

Hear your heart…

[drum beats]

For winter short or winter long,

it beats strong with wintersong.


what it carries

to this place

Ready to face

the bright embrace

of fire

Gifts and pains

may be

one and the same

Let go

what need no longer be carried

Give it lightly

as night lightens into day

as dawn lets the owl say


Feed the winter flames

Let the fire love

old into new in this night

of fresh starts,

each one a hot spark

flying home

to the stars.

Hearts, sparks, stars…

they shall sing us home tonight

in the dark

of Solstice light.

Sharon Abra Hanen, Winter Solstice 2011

2 thoughts on “Solstice Eve

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