And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
—The Shortest Day, Susan Cooper
How it seems that as one grows older, people and times distant take on a glow of solstice fires.
When you were in that experience, with those people, you had no thought it would come to an end. That your life would not ever expand outward into the world. That loved ones would fall away. That you would somehow—wandering a maze of seemingly disconnected blind turns—dead-end; not at the center but in an edgeland inhabited only by ghosts.
If you had known where your turns would lead you, would you have followed a different path? Useless thoughts, yet the question will be asked.
Accept that this is your journey, every blind step of it. You are here. There is no "supposed to," only where you are. Do you trust that is so?
But still, dear friends, I wish we could be together once more around the solstice fire.
The shape of the celebration was never so important as that you and I were there together, laughing, as the living sparks flew up into the deep night like wishes, and the white owl watched in silence.