We love ending the year with our beautiful Winter Solstice Celebration. It brings people together to share a sacred state of mind, a commitment to peace and understanding, and a celebration of life, love, and joy. This year’s Solstice Celebration was both deeply reflective and rousingly joyful. Its theme was “Ubuntu,” the African belief that “I am because we are.”
The theme was illustrated by the reading of the story of a foreigner in an African village who set up a game for the children—the first one to win the race would get a basket of candy. He was surprised to see that the children, instead of racing off to win the prize, joined hands and all skipped to the basket together, then sat sharing the candy and laughing happily. Puzzled, he asked the children why they didn’t run to claim the candy all for themselves, they explained that that would make the losing children sad, and how could they be happy when their friends were sad? This is an interesting comparison of a culture based on competition and greed with one based on sharing and caring for each other!
We’d like to thank everyone who made this evening so special. First, Inter-spiritual minister, Rev. Joni Carley, who emceed the evening and brought all the pieces of this magical event together; the other celebrants, African priestess / shaman / drummer Nana Korantemaa, and Sufi dancer / whirling dervish Ibrahim Miari, for their powerful contributions; the band members, including percussionists Jan‑Jeffries & Marcy Francis, awe-inspiring gong player Katryn Lavanture, and the band leader, legendary jazz keyboardist, Dave Posmontier; the Solstice Singers, a dedicated group of individuals who came together for their love of singing and perfected songs and harmonies with very few rehearsals; the volunteers who helped with set-up, logistics and clean up; and the audience who enthusiastically joined into the moving ceremony. We are also grateful to the Unitarian Universalist Church for graciously offering their lovely sanctuary in which to hold the event.
For all who came, thank you for sharing this evening with us. If you missed it, here are a few pictures to entice you to come next year!