The first day of December arrived like an old friend wearing a white and fluffy winter coat. On went our own layers so that we could go out and explore the new icy world she had brought as a gift. The hush that comes when you first enter the land of just fallen snow invokes whispers and awe... and then of course the frolicking and squeals begin. Yet still, a blanket of peace remains the backdrop.
|See this photo for how I gathered the brown tree paper for this winter ornament.|
Mid afternoon that December friend decided to show my family what winter used to mean...and she quietly turned off the electricity.
As you know, it gets dark early. As the children tromped inside with snowy boots, I hustled to find more candles and stoke up the fire. Homework was done by the light of a flame. Our usual digital soundtrack was replaced by lots more piano playing than the usual nightly practice. Nut cracking reached new heights in popularity. We slowed down. We stayed close to one another by the fire and near the light of the candles. Our plans for latkes and a fancy Chanukah meal shifted to making quesadillas and lentil soup on the wood stove, which my son declared to be the tastiest ever. We lit our menorah, sang songs, and opened the first door of our count-down calendar. This night had potential for magic anyway, but now it will go down in our family's history as that special dark and quiet first night. When the lights, stereo and computers all blinked on simultaneously, there was a deep sense of loss mingled with the relief that our modern world had returned. I think I'd like to create more of these electric-free nights this winter. Might just be one of those activities behind a count-down door!