Happy Summer Solstice to my fellow Southern Hemispheric residents, and Happy Winter Solstice to those in the North.
I wish I could say it’s a gorgeous day here in Sydney, that I’ve gone out to the park or the beach to dance in the sunshine with my SPF 50, but alas it’s a cold wet day and I’m wearing a jumper.
Instead of going to a walk, soaking in the smells and sights that Mother Nature has to offer, I’m inside trying to rid my home of the awful sights and smells that five cats have to offer.
I’m using this time to clean, to freshen the house, to begin my year anew.
It’s always a challenging time of the year, as the Muggle and I “don’t do Christmas”. I say that it’s because mine is in June, but the core of it is the dislike of how consumerist it’s become, and how we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of by the shops. We automatically begin thinking, “I wonder what Family Member X would like” and it just gets on our nerves. So in a way, not celebrating this holiday is a way of trying to retrain our brains into not thinking that way.
That said, this may all go out the window if we ever have children of our own, as Santa will be visiting our house in June, and then will know to “leave presents at the Grandparents house” come December.
See? We’re not completely awful!
This year we’re not able to visit Victoria to see my family, and I’m loving the freedom of being able to be completely relaxed in our own home, with our cats, and take time to really relax and unwind after such a hectic year. As much as I miss them as I haven’t seen them since Poppy’s funeral in March, I’m so thankful we’re staying home.
There’s no 11 hour drive ahead of us, we’re not having to plan every minute to try and see everyone we want to see in the short amount of time we’re there, and there’s no town folk verbally abusing me for my size.
It’s the first time in seven years that we’re spending the holiday period at home, and I’m loving it!
So how do you celebrate a holiday without really celebrating it?
We don’t have a tree up, there’s no tinsel or lights. The Holly King is in his spot all year around (safe from the cats prying paws) and I’m yet to find a representation of the Oak King that I like. It took me six years to find a “Santa” that isn’t wearing red because, again, he wears red thanks to a campaign in the 1950s brought to us by Coca Cola.
We don’t not celebrate it because it’s “a Christian holiday” – we don’t care. Jesus was born in April, anyway, and most Xmas traditions are a collection of European Pagan traditions smacked together. In Australia it’s more about Santa and presents and arguing over who’s house to visit for Xmas Day lunch than anything else.
So what do I celebrate?
For me, at this time of the year, I celebrate the Solstice. I celebrate the rebirth of the Oak King. I celebrate my Patron, Herne the Hunter, and his journey through the Wheel of the Year. I celebrate the changing of the seasons, and the seasons themselves not really knowing what to do (one moment it’s 40C and I’m in a bath of cold water, the next day I’m wearing a jumper!).
I look back on my year, on my life, and celebrate that I’ve made it another year. I continue to celebrate that I am the Hunter, I am the Warrior, and I am still here. I celebrate my life with my love, my Muggle, and how truly thankful I am to have him in my life.
It’s hard to “just celebrate it for the kids” as a cousin once told me when you’ve been trying for five years and still the only kids you have are four legged bundles of fur.
We just have different priorities at this time of the year.