'The best laid schemes of Mice and Men oft go awry'
by Robert Burns
Not exactly a Yule tide quote but an apt description of the run up to my Yule. I had so many plans as always but both life, weather and my health meant they didn't actually work out as I hoped. I was disappointed as this week started and felt so behind, I did managed to celebrate the first night of Yule, mothers night, on the Mon the 20th. On the Winter Solstice, I did the rather stupid trick of pouring boiling water on my foot so after that and visiting the hospital the last of my plans which were to go around the cemeteries to take my flowers, do some last bits of shopping, write up the first of what I hoped would be a season of Yule tide posts disintegrated and missing the lunar eclipse, I decided enough was enough, so I gave up trying to catch up.
Guess what? since then I've the calmest and most peaceful Yule I've experienced in a long time. The flowers for my loved ones are on display in the house instead of the churchyard but as I think those we love are never that far from us I'm sure they see and enjoy them with me here. I did think about doing some of my planned Yule Tide posts in a block posting but then decided the moment had past for this year, but some of my friends in blogland have already written some lovely seasonal posts, I'd like to point you in the direction of two of my favourites, Cattra's Magickal World and Wandering a Wise Woman Path. There are some more lovely posts on the blogs in my list on the right hand side. I was most disappointed to have missed the lunar eclipse but there are some lovely photos of it on the Internet.
As for me, well Yule is a season of 12 days not just one day and I am now happy to spend them in quite peaceful thought and contentment. I cooked a Yule tide lunch with turkey on Wednesday so I could share it with my dad before he went away. Since then I've enjoyed the lovely peace and quite with my new pup Reggie, late in the day maybe but I've decorated my little tree, not with the fancy dec's I couldn't get out the loft but with lace and ribbons from my craft box and I love it. I've walked in my snowy garden, mother nature has made so beautiful for the season, taken some photos and fed my feathered friends and my mind and heart has been thinking of what this season really means to me and reaffirm my beliefs and ethics, that's as it should be because true change and hope has to come from within yourself. My dad will be back in time for the last day of Yule on the 31st of Dec and we will exchange our gifts from kith and kin then.
What has this season taught me so far? Well no matter what plans we make sometimes the nornir have their own ideas to make us slow down and appreciate and think about what is important to us and what we already have. One of the biggest things for me is at long last I've reconciled my thoughts about Christmas. When I decided to follow my own beliefs and feelings as an animist pagan following the northern religion I tried to reject Christmas as no longer being part of my life in the way it had been, but for the last few years, while happy in my beliefs I always got the feeling I also lost something dear to my heart. For the first time this year I've realised I don't have to sacrifice one for the other. Yule is where my spiritual soul resides but Christmas is where my memories and traditions come from and a connection to what my ancestors celebrated for at least the last few hundred years. This is season of warmth, love, peace, joy and hope for a new year ahead, that should connect us all, no matter our individual beliefs and faith is.