happy winter solstice

Last night we celebrated winter solstice by the Merri Creek. I made a picnic dinner using ingredients from our weekly organic vegie box. We're now part of a vegie co-op, a new co-op that's being formed with the help of another local co-op that's already been running for several years. On Thursday we picked up our first box and I have to say, I have never tasted apples so good. Or had so many pears to eat. The mushrooms are superb and the broccoli was also surprisingly good, with none of that supermarket sulphur taste. Anyway, most of the members of the co-op were there last night. Along with friends and neighbours, people from various groups around the community. This estate has a human connectedness that I've never experienced in a place before. I couldn't have imagined that I'd live somewhere like this and it continues to surprise me. I totally love it.



We dressed warmly, even though it didn't end up being all that cold. It was exciting crossing the foot bridge and walking up along the creek, pulling our shopping trolley that G found in the hard rubbish, with a rucksack on it filled with blankets and food. G also had his fagot. Made from a dead standard rose bush, candle wax and cotton dipped in vegetable oil. He spent a fair bit of the afternoon working on it while I baked a cake and made carrot dip (we also have rather a lot of carrots). We set up our blanket, chatted and mingled while Grace ran around with the other kids. Somehow, in between all the excitement we ate a bit of dinner. Then everyone came into a circle, more or less, and we lit candles and lamps. Dave made a low key speech, including an acknowledgment of the traditional owners of the land and something about the intention to gather here to celebrate the summer solstice and the spring and autumn equinoxes. As Dave began to lead the group on a walk up the hill, Gerard set his fagot ablaze. It was quite spectacular, although it freaked a few people out (including me) that kids were trying to light their candles from it. I helped a few kids and then realised that Grace had gone up the top of the cliff without us. I bolted up and there she was, tagging along with another family. Next time I'm going to put a glowstick on her, because they sure are easy to loose track of in the dark.  Apart from a few minor issues about candles going out and some kids having torches coveted by other kids, it was a beautiful lovely thing to do. We stood at the top of the cliff and saw the fire and Gerard with his blazing fagot. Back at the quarry we had some cake and more running around, and then sat around the fire talking and such until a few spots of rain convinced us that it might be a good time to leave. When we got home, Grace was super tired and went straight to bed after washing the black from her face and hands. We read half a story from the fairy tale book (The Snow Queen) and I tucked her in, still smelling of campfire smoke, one of my all time favourite scents.

12 comments:

  1. What a fabulous thing to do! That sort of thing never happens around Bentleigh way...

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  2. Grace will grow up having so many wonderful memories..

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  3. you guys have landed in a delightful community
    cherish the blessing

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  4. We used to have a massive bonfire in winter when I grew up and the Dads would have the best fun setting off firecrackers. (I lived in Canberra where they arae legal) They were just the best nights, toasting marshmallows, tasting the grown-ups gluhwein. Good on your community for giving the kids and the grown-ups such a great night.

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  5. that sounds so, so lovely! you are so lucky to have found such an amazing community.

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  6. Absolutely idyllic winter solstice.. especially Gerard and his blazing fagot :))

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  7. it was a lovely thing to do. hoe exciting that your co-op is up and running already!
    lets catch up soon xxx

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  8. I once had to look after a bloke who ate the same lunch every day. It was a frozen meal called Faggots in a rich west country sauce. This was in England, home of very dodgy cuisine. The memories all came flooding back when you mentioned your G's fagot.
    Your meal sounds a lot more palatable.

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  9. Its sounds just lovely. You can't beat connecting with your community. It sounds quietly, almost, spiritual.

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  10. I've always known gerard was a screaming poof but to see him with a burning fagot is truly astounding!
    I wonder if thats wot he used to burn in his molle st bedroom many moons ago?

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  11. ummm, I feel that perhaps I should point out that that last comment is from an old and dear friend of Gerard's... yes well.. it's a hobart kind of love you know

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  12. Hi, Janet -- I found you via Mary's blog, wandered over to your flickr page, and wanted to tell you I think your photos are absolutely stunning. As is your family! (Having a good chortle about the fagot-related comments in your comment box, too...)

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