Dec 22, 2020 by Rua Lupa
This was our 1st year home for the Winter Holidays in 13 years and so was able to be more involved for Borealis Nox – Winter Solstice / Longest Night for the Northern Hemisphere.
The minimum we do every year is decorating a Nox Tree – a tree outside decorated with wildlife food stuffs, being a way of acknowledging our non-human neighbours in our shared experience. We have a tradition of getting oranges to make half cut orange seed cups out of them and hanging from red wool yarn. We finally have a ladder so we were able to hang the seed cups outside the reach of deer.
This is our 2nd year making a Yuki-Daruma – a Japanese style Snowman, literally ‘Snow’ ‘Bodhidharma’, the founder of the Zen tradition of Buddhism. Though the result this year is more of a fusion. We enjoy this form to place apples on the lap for our non-human neighbours to enjoy, especially the deer. This year we have the Yukidaruma wearing a mask, with apple slices on their lap arranged in a Solstice themed pattern.
Behind the Nox Tree we have a fire pit set up to heat some mulled wine and lay a wool blanket where we will open some presents by the fire.
For dinner we had a grouse that had died on impact with our window this past February. It was brined, then given an olive oil and spice rub of Chili, Ginger, Cumin, and Paprika (the leftovers being drizzled over the whole later); It was then wrapped in some of my bonsai lemon leaves, placed in a bed of rice, sprinkled with sunflower seeds, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. Then baked in a Dutch oven at 350°F for 35 minutes.
Following dinner we went back outside and started the fire to enjoy and make our Mulled Wine / Spiced Wine in our three legged pottery cooking pot in the coals. It is made with a cheap red wine with a cloth sac filled with cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg soaking inside like a tea bag.
As the 3 legged cooking pot of wine and spices was heating we opened a present. I am excited to delve deeper into illumination and calligraphy with these new fancy tools!
Joyous Winter Solstice!