Monday, January 3, 2011
The Two Faces of Yule
Yule, which encompasses New Year’s Day, traditionally has two faces—there is the open to the world, celebrate, eat lots of food, see everyone you know face, which is the popular conception of the season—but there is also the inward-looking, coming out of darkness, evaluating the past year, asking for forgiveness aspect of the season, which our culture often forgets about, to our detriment. We spent the first week of Winter Break in the public realm, visiting with everyone, eating way too many baked goods (apple-cranberry pie, two rounds of stollen, whole wheat anise cookies, a plate of food from our neighbor who can bake!), not a day unscheduled. It was great! This week, we moved into the back side of the season, the private realm. After Amy left on Monday afternoon, we had nothing scheduled for the rest of the week (which is practically unheard of in my schedule book—just ask Mark). It’s been a week of long walks, staring into space, considering life and the pile of ninth grade debate papers I collected the week before Break (notice I did not say grading the papers…), working on a puzzle which I think is missing pieces, knitting a sweater, reading John Irving’s newest novel and various other books from a library cruise, and contemplating the disaster of a decade we just lived through. Today, I’m going to bring out the Territorial Seed Catalog and begin browsing tomatoes.