Volume 3: Issue 2 (Winter)

Winter Solstice 2022

Last night, my husband burned wood from a rotten tree. It was work for sure, but there was beauty in the fire in the snow in the long dark of the night before the Winter Solstice.

It has been an eventful year for our family, our little farmstead, and the journal. It was a year of loss, drought, progress, joy, and new beginnings.

Last Winter Solstice, I was writing about the loss of our farm dog, our Great Pyrenees, Gus. For this Winter Solstice, we have a new puppy, also a Great Pyrenees, Bairre. The healing he has brought to my life is immeasurable.

During this year, we also started our first ever farm share program from our little farm, and I think it went so well. I delivered beautiful produce, fresh eggs, and homemade jams and sauces from the end of May to the middle of September. Every time I would fill up the back our little Subaru with treasures from the garden, I would feel so proud and so joyful. This year, our little farm fed other families!

The journal has also continued to grow. It has grown so much this year that I sometimes feel nervous about handling it well. In fact, I feel very nervous, and starting in January, I am so excited to share that we will have a new editor who will join me in this labor of love. Stephanie Gross, who has written for us will now be my partner at the editor’s desk. I am full of gratefulness to her and will introduce her more formally after the first of the year.

Last year, my introduction to the Solstice issue was long and full of stories within stories. This morning, on this cloudy Solstice morning, I will be brief because this Solstice is extra special for our family. Our son, the cellist, is also a composer. At just 13, he is having a beautiful piece he wrote in honor of the Solstice performed tonight at a special Solstice concert. It’s a big deal and a great honor for him, and it is ineluctably connected to the Solstice, as so many things in my life are, it seems. Before he composed his piece, I spent time with him reading books and sharing cultural traditions of the Solstice. His composition sounds like the Solstice. If you follow our Facebook page, I hope to be able to share it there later tonight. I think it’s a gift.

But this issue is also a gift of the very best kind. This issue is huge, packed with stories, recipes, love, connection, loss, worry about the future, joy in the present. Our theme was hygge, cozy, and home. I promise, when you read these essays and poems, you will feel the cozy and joy of home during the cold winter months. Each and every one of these pieces moved me in some way, and I think they will move you too. One of my favorites from this issue is The Barn by Randy Graham. It is everything! We have breathtaking poetry, including The Eastern Towhee Is Back and Wool House. I am also so proud to share a photo essay I spent a year working on focused on a year in the life of my beautiful friend, our Maple tree. There are so many essays and poems from farmers, scientists, gardeners, and poets. This issue is such a wonderful Solstice gift. I mean for it to feel like a good hug. I hope it does.

There is magic in these pages, I promise, but I am starting to learn there is magic everywhere and within us. We just have to open our eyes and trust it. So, today, if you are reading these words from on the Winter Solstice, light a candle, close your eyes, and make a Solstice wish. I hope it comes true.

Happy Winter Solstice, everyone!

In This Issue

Alpaca Snow Angels by Kasey Butcher Santana

Wrapped in Firelight by Jj Starwalker

The Eastern Towhee Is Back (poetry) by Hope Miller

After a Hug (photo essay) by Crystal Sands

Winter Comforts by Stephanie Gross

Wool House (poetry) by John Van Pelt

Mr. Potato Head by Lauren Kessler

Caillieach’s Ride by Katharyn Privett-Duren

The Barn by Randy Graham

Winter Solstice (poetry) by Pete Mackey

Winter Kites by Sofia Ali-Khan

Government Cheese (poetry) by Aidan Lee
Snow Visitor by Amy Boyd

Crows Gathered at Sundown (poetry) by Matthew Johnson

The Four-Dimensional Jar (poetry) by Connie S. Tettenborn

Sugar on Snow by Ann Ingalls

Gramma’s Swedish Tea Ring by Crystal Rowe
Weathering the Season by Amy Nicholson

Craving Connection by Alyson Rockhold

A Winter’s Wager by Kayann Short
Ekphrasis: Adriaen van Utrecht (poetry) by Jessica Clark

Home Is Work by Katie Kulla

Searching for Hygge by Trista Cornelius

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