Seeking added light on the Winter Solstice, I took a brief walk on the Highline Canal Trail in my area of Denver, Colorado. As a child living on the farm, we were fairly in sync with the seasons. Winter’s arrival was significant. The labors that Dad undertook for the season were intense. Coal was delivered and furnace wood cut from fallen timber. These were pushed through a small hatch in the farmhouse foundation. Dad had piles of coal and wood stacked in the basement of our home ready to fuel the furnace.
For the cattle and horses, hay and straw were used to feed and provide warm bedding, respectively. An oil furnace in the dog kennel a.k.a. former chicken house was fired up to warm the Scottish terriers that Mom raised.
Standing at a distance from the farmhouse as dusk approached, it was heart-warming to see the smoke curl upwards from the brick chimney. The twinkle of lamplight coming from the windows indicated a cozy place to curl up with my parents and four siblings. An occasional bark from one of our canine friends or the moo from a cow, reminded us of our place as stewards of our four-legged charges.
May you seek light and provide hospitality during these longer days of the season we call Winter.