My family is notorious for decorating at the last minute… like, the last, last minute. It’s not uncommon for us to be gathered in the living room around a naked spruce on Christmas Eve, asking ourselves “how late are we willing to stay up tonight?”
Have you ever been a-wassailing?With plenty of established (and emerging) wine regions, you’ll find small towns all over Ontario celebrating Wassail this time of year – a Medieval English tradition which pays tribute to the harvest before the arrival of winter. Merrymakers would travel from house to house, with a song on their lips and a glass in their hands! Apparently this cheerful ritual would ensure a good cider apple harvest the following year – Frankly, I like their methods.
The coming of Fall can bring about more change than the simple turning of the leaves. As I’m layering on the blanket scarves and contemplating woolly socks and ankle boots, my thoughts are turning inward. When the chill sets in, I begin to embrace the the stillness that exists between the adventures of summer and the hullabaloo that is the Holiday Season. It feels like a repose – a time to collect myself.
It has become our Thanksgiving tradition; as my mother finishes basting the turkey and turning out the lentil loaf, my husband and sister set out the flatware, and my father readies the carving knives, I will be found in the garden collecting flowers for a centrepiece. Floral arrangements are a lovely way to add energy to the table, and to keep it looking lively even after the feast has been devoured!
If you live and work in a big city, you can probably attest to the fact that as city dwellers we rarely give ourselves permission to slow down. Our day-to-day is fast paced because “fast” means “productive”, and boy do we love to get stuff done! Somedays it can feel like an endless race; masses of people rushing to get places, filing in and out of down-town offices on a 9 to 5 clock. It’s enough to make me stand like a rock in white waters – to throw my hands into the air and yell “what is it all for!” Suffice it to say, a 24 hour hustle leaves me feeling tired and unfulfilled.
Isn’t it fascinating when an event draws thousands of people into one place for the purpose of sharing an experience? When we gather in large numbers, our experience simply magnifies. And an activity as humble as the yoga practice can become quite grand, awe-inspiring and exceptionally joyful!