It's that time of year again--the turning of the seasons. All my craft shows for the year are done. I spent last week making potholders --I had sold out of them. Amazing the different meanings of the words "sold out"--is it a betrayal of oneself or a turning over of stock? Hmm. Something to ponder on a different day. Now I just have to make enough that there is a selection. I designed new pillows--I do like the colors--still think there is a possibility here. I worked but didn't push myself last week. It was my time of rest and recuperation. The pause in my schedule.
Yesterday was the winter solstice--time seems to stand still until the days will slowly lengthen into the warmth of summer. A great article in the New York Times--the change in length of days so minimal at first that there was no way the precise date could be ascertained. The article details numerous customs, the traditions of the solstice. Sacrificing animals, strange costumes, bonfires. Especially the celebration of life. I love how essential this tradition is. Do read it here.
To celebrate I hike to the top of Helicopter Hill before sunrise. The woods are quiet, wisps of snow lie in the dead leaves. The ground is almost frozen--it crackles a bit under foot as I pick my way through the branches fallen in the summer, the brambles that have grown in the path. From the top of the hill I can see one distant light--is it a farm? The hill is a desolate place this time of year--empty bluebird houses. The wind comes from the north promising cold. The colors are grey and grey with just a hint of pink in the sky. Dusty tan on the ground. Too many clouds for the sun to peak through. I wait until my legs ache with the cold. Then I leave. It was still wondrous up there.
I think of the new year. So many orders in January. Then the Baltimore Show in February. So much to do. This is the way it is supposed to be. Tomorrow I will start the first order. A wall hanging to match a lush glass vase. I have visited the home--seen exactly where it will go. So much responsibility getting the colors just right. Capturing the essence of the glass bowl made by my neighbor Ed Branson. This quilt in soft plums and rust. The colors lush and soft. I will need to absorb the essence of this soft light into my thoughts of this quilt.
I will approach the quilt with the respect and reverence of the season but also knowing that it will anchor me during this time of celebration. Make my time in the studio productive as I balance studio time with time for loved ones. Getting this quilt done will inspire me to make new work for the year. It is how I will take the energy of the season and use it to push myself forward.
And you--do you feel the energy of the solstice? Does it push you forward? Or is this your time for standing still?