I celebrate winter: the short sweet moments in the sun, lighting candles, making tea, cocooning, and the dream journeying of the night.
For the next few weeks, the nights are going to get longer. Whether you enjoy it or not, the wheels of the season will keep on turning. So, you might as well enjoy it!
As light grows less each day, I find myself embracing the long nights and the still darkness of the mornings. I love the dark. I've had enough personal experience to understand that darkness is a necessary aspect of life. A monarch butterfly knows that the beauty of transformation occurs in the deep darkness of a chrysalis. Seedlings know the darkness of the soil in order to germinate. Likewise, incredible changes are happening in the landscape of the approaching solstice and it's long cold shadows of the dark.
Plants send their energy deep into their roots, their foliage seemingly barren, but their life force quietly hidden away beneath the unseen parts of the earth. Similarly, for us, darkness naturally leads to sleep and dream worlds, where we look within to the realms of our souls. This is the time of year that bridges old and new, death and life. It's a time to move inward and transition, and it can only happen in the dark.
I've shared before my art inspired by these states of transition. I'm completely fascinated with the mysterious unknown. For these reasons, I celebrate winter and it's shadows.
Making a wreath.
Winter wreaths are commonly made with evergreen plants like pine, juniper, and fir to represent the cycle of seasons and everlasting life. Making a wreath is a fun way to bring some greenery into your home during winter. Most trees and shrubs where I live tend to be evergreen, so choosing which natural materials to work with was a matter of longevity and preference.
I took a walk around my neighborhood to collect materials and here's what I found: Twigs, seed pods, pinecones, and magnolia fruit, nandina berries, an olive branch, and cuttings of something from the Cypress family. I didn't have a wire ring to arrange my plant materials with, so I just imagined myself learning the way of the weavers. I took the twigs and began delicately and loosely braiding, weaving pieces together, and using tiny bits of tape to shape and secure them. Then I began attaching more parts with twine only, until my ring of twigs felt sturdy. I used a door handle to prop up my wreath while arranging and attaching the plant material.