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I’m drinking a glass of redwine going berserk in a bag of store-bought candy, not homemade. Neither.
It is the day before our yule celebration and I haven’t even unpacked our decorations. I haven’t baked a thousand cookies. I didn’t even polish the windows. I’m not feeling it. I’m not feeling yule… not in the way I used to but then again nothing is like it used to be, most of my kids won’t even be home for christmas. So what is christmas anyways?
Gift giving? Yes. I have received much and I have given much this month. Community? Yes. I have much and many as well as I have no one. I realise. Family? It is about family isn’t it?

It’s about the children.
“Yule is just my favourite feast of the whole year!” he said and I felt… obliged.
Feeling obliged is a good thing. Feeling not-obliged is the worst!

So we’ll do the whole thing tomorrow. The fire. The feast. The gift. We’ll dance around the tree of life and sacrifice to the pixie, remember the dead and celebrate the sun. I will do all of these things as we used to do them knowing that nothing is the same, everything has changed, everything always changes, I guess I just wanted so desperately for some things NOT to change. Maybe. But they do. And in the midst of all of these changes there are these thin red lines, there is eternity. Continuation.

And in a way it’s beautiful.





In the old days people would celebrate yule by drinking and feasting all through the month. They would give solemn oaths and carry light to each house in the village, yule was once a totally different thing. Yule itself has changed so much it’s only the fact that remains: some time around solstice people in this part of the world have been celebrating.
Different gods and in different ways. Yet always. Some sort of celebration.
(do you see how the sunset this evening looks like a spiral? Isn’t that strange?)


Today we talked for the longest time, drinking several cups of morning coffee watching the great tits and I do love him.

We cleaned the house and did the chores. We need to fix the cars because they’re broken (everything breaks around yule, it’s some sort of law) so we spent the majority of the day kicking and screaming at the ford. Then I went for a long walk with Sigurd and I wore my new boots that are made for walking


then we made a new workshop table for Sigurd (we got a lot of lego from a reader, nice!)


and then I sat down to write this post and realised that I didn’t really have a lot to say, it’s all very quiet and calm, the red wine is nice, the candy is gone, I’m going to make meatballs now.
Nothing fancy. It was just a day. The day before yule.
Some years ago I would have been a tornado right about now. A tornado of death and destruction, kicking and screaming at the windows or the mess or the lack of money or the inadequacy of myself but I think I’ve changed.
So there’s that.
And that was all.





19 comments on “The gift of change

  1. Pia says:

    Oh, I wish I hadn’t given away all our LEGO years ago, because I don’t think it was used much where it went. The brothers could have brought it up for Sigurd. Looks like a pretty good hoard all the same.


  2. Tres Jolie says:

    and life comes to one as we dance on, dance on.
    Enjoy Solstice! We lit the fire for ourselves and the earth.


  3. Eileen says:

    For not feeling as if you had much to say…you certainly did commumicate a great deal Thank you and a very happy solstice.


  4. BeeHappee says:

    Beautiful. 🙂


  5. Hanne Ishøy Nielsen says:

    Rigtig glædelig solhvervsfest og et godt og afklaret nytår. Tak for dine kalendertanker, de er gode at læse og varer længe 🙂 Kandiseret appelsinskal er min nye favorit!


  6. Camilla says:

    Dear Andrea, Thank you for your writing …
    Today you write that you are not feeling Yule like you used to , that you havent baked the 1000 cookies , nor unpacked the decorations. In an earlier post you said that you believed yule meant ‘wheel’ but not sure .. I believe it does come from that root for I read that many many moons ago , it was taboo at solstice dark to turn any wheel of any kind , that all wheels , like this cycle of the year were to come to a complete standstill… To start anew with the new turn of the year. Perhaps , you , now, so turned and tuned to the forest , the logs, needed to just stop too , for no reason other than sensitivity to your living breathing surroundings. It is as it is and change is coming … Thats all we know , and life goes on wheels within wheels within the great Wheel that turns them all. Solstice greetings to you, and may bright sparks be kindled within the ash and embers of all that must otherwise die. So grateful for your thoughts and stories .


    1. eliseutke says:

      Brilliant observation – it even explains the yearly breakdown of cars!


    2. Oh. This is so beautiful and rings so true. Thank you!!


    3. ncfarmchick says:

      I love this thought. Thank you!


  7. Søren says:

    Everything in this World are just Seeds
    Endless potentiality
    Mere suggestions

    We are the gardeners in this Garden of suggestions
    We decide what will grow and what will perish
    If we stop watering the bad Seeds, nothing will come of them
    If we do not like what grows in our Garden, then stop helping it along
    We might even consider remowing the weeds

    Our minds are not supposed to be this mushy sponge where all suggestions can grow, when in fact it is a brilliant crystal, to connect with all there is ….. we dont invent anything, we merely Access what IS


    1. That’s beautyful Soren. Thank you 🙂


  8. Ms. Gwynne says:

    Perhaps if, as Camilla says, “all wheels…were to come to a complete standstill” for Solstice this is why the Ford won’t go? Out of respect for the Yule. It makes perfect sense.


  9. Scott says:

    Sorry about the car trouble. Wish I could help. What kind of ford, if you don’t mind me asking? I’m a mechanic (or at least I do all my own car work) And don’t you have an old Volvo? Think I read that sometime on here. Love Volvos. I’ve had four!

    I hear you about the changes. In years past, we would rush around to different parts of the country visiting relatives, basically a tornado, like you say, but this year is better. We decided to stay in, and people have to option of coming to see us. We have a spare bed, food, and drink, come on and let’s have a good time! But I’m just done with the scurrying about.

    (I want a meatball! Love meatballs!)


    1. Meatballs are gold! We have two old volvos and one broken down ford, can’t be repaired we were just trying to move it out of the way. One thing we learned here is that no cares- except volvos- can deal with the forest roads. ALL cars break. The volvos are entirely mechanic no electronic in there, old and beautiful and the only reliable cars we have (there’s all sorts of problems with them but these problems can be fixed whereas the ford is impossible to do anything about) 🙂


      1. Tres Jolie says:

        My favorite car of all time is the Volvo. I had 2. We always laughed because we said “The Volvo does not accelerate. It slowly gains momentum.” I could not afford a truck but that was OK because I had a Volvo! I could get a bale of hay in the trunk and if I needed to go up hill I’d put the old girl in gear and peddle to the metal just power up the hill. I told people I was really driving a tractor and bragged about the small turning radius for a seemingly big car. I heard Volvo made their fame on building tractors. One day a horse wanted to eat the car but he only got so far as to strip off some of the decorative striping. I didn’t know how much I missed my Volvo until I exchanged the last one for a Honda CRV and found I couldn’t drive up the hill any more. How annoying! But now my partner has a 4WD truck and the Volvo days are a fond memory.


      2. Tres Jolie says:

        Oh BTW did you know that here in the USA there is a saying about Fords? FORD stands for Fix Or Repair Daily.


  10. eliseutke says:

    Glædelig solhverv, og tak for alle gaverne!


  11. Dove says:

    i love this time of year more and more. we did away with christmas all together this year. the empty, american version. And I realized the tyranny of consumption and capitalism is often so internalized we sacrifice our most precious gifts to it. and this year we have taken it back completely. the most precious gift truly bing our time and our freedom. and finally we can just enjoy the darkness with our little children as we are inspired day by day. early dusk and we are in the hot tub, loving the heat and the full immersion in water. in the grey wetness we walk in through the meadows, saturated soil, and admire the mushrooms all around us. (northern california where winter means rain and semi cold) we don’t bother with a christmas tree nor electric lights. just enjoy the darkness and feel our inner light tender and small, held and immeasurable. my 4 year old makes beaded necklaces for her brother and papa and me and gifts them right away. so much of the ceremony around the holidays has become false and stifling of true generosity, remembrance and recognition. we celebrate the solstice and the awareness is simple and immediate. its dark. we seek light. we find it within our selves and within each other. it really is solstice. the days really are brief. we don’t need to study up how to celebrate or mark it. just be it. and each year is unique. candlelight, herb tea and going deep into dreamtime. gathering a little community around the children. fire. warmth. sweet treats. crafting. and i can imagine some year if the children are grown, i may love the dark time even more.


  12. ncfarmchick says:

    You have a lot to say even when you think you don’t. Thank you for your lovely words. And there may be hope for your Ford yet, Our F150 is 15 years old and still going strong without anything too major needed to be repaired. Though I admit I don’t think we are the norm. God jul!


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