Tomorrow is the winter solstice…and I can’t get over all that has happened in our lives since the last winter solstice. I can barely believe all that has happened since the autumnal equinox. In many ways, I find myself just plain grateful for holidays simply because they make us stop to mark the passing of time. It’s been a few years in the making, but it’s time to admit that the stage of our lives where the world seemed to drag beneath our feet is gone. Now, we just hold on tight!
I love rearranging my seasonal decorations throughout the year, but in December I love going through all my boxes to find…not the garlands or candles or lyres or red ribbons or snowflakes or ornaments (though I look forward to waking all of them up from their warm-weather hibernation)…but pine cones!
Or, I suppose I should say, the conifer cone — let’s be politically correct and admit that pines don’t represent every cone! Granted, I’m sure most of mine are pine; we’re likely not very diverse in our collection of evergreens’ dried-up female reproductive organs. Yeah, that’s what pine cones are (look it up).
Just like every partly glitter-blooded semi-Pinteresty glue-gun wielding American woman, I have hundreds of pine cones because nothing says Yule like freeing the tree yoni (look it up).
There is something therapeutic about looking at each and every one of them. I love them all. I try to get rid of them, but there is something about seeing pine cones in bowls, on garlands, adorning wreaths, strewn upon mantles…painted gold, red, white, silver or au naturel…tiny, giant, long, fat…straight, rugged, symmetrical, crooked…and all mixed together! Oh, the more the merrier! I can’t choose. They all must stay.
Every year I get them all out, and every year, I pack them all up as if they are all just as precious as ornaments. It’s the pagan in me — gotta have that woodland flair.
Evergreen trees must think we revere them — or fear them. After all, until fake trees started trending, we made a lot of ritual evergreen sacrifice (and still do). It’s an odd practice, if you think about it — displaying a dead tree and decking the halls with the limbs and organs of other dead trees. I’m not sure what this says about humans….
But in a way, I think we do revere the evergreen. Because, in the dead of winter, there they are, green all year round. Humans like their symbols and the evergreen is a universal one. It takes a certain type of tree to survive winter with its greenery in tact just like it takes a certain type of person to survive hardship without losing faith.
(And then there’s that certain type of person who survives the darkest days by remaining distracted by her need to compulsively hoard pine cones).
What can I say? It takes all kinds.
All kinds of people. All kinds of trees. All kinds of cones. That’s how we all get through the long nights of winter. All mixed up together in an earth-shaped bowl (and trying not to poke each other too much, but it happens).
Wishing you a Merry Winter Solstice from Kretch’s Korner!
(…and a Happy Summer Solstice to our friends on the other side of this rock…!)