Sunday, December 22, 2019

Solstice & Light

Solstice Smilax light
It is lovely how this year, the Winter Solstice and the 1st Night of Chanuka coincide. Yesterday afternoon, in the last hours of the night, my daughter and I set for a lovely hike on the mountain just behind our home. As expected, we found some unexpected surprises - botanical treasures and new paths we've never took before. And even if we did take those path or part of them, it felt new and strange and exciting. That is what I love about nature: NO matter how long you'll live in a place, the seasonal changes will always bring new surprises. And even with familiar plants, you'll always discover something new. The first surprise was to find those little "ponds" in the rock crevices on the mountain. It totally makes sense that they will exist. It's just that I've never seen them. Even though I have visited this mountain a lot growing up. This is a particularly beautiful area covered in rocks with interesting formations. They were probably once the bottom of the sea!

Satureja montana "Bonsai"
Mountain savoury (Satureja montana) "Bonsai" in the rocks

Satureja colony
An entire rocky mound covered in a Satureja colony

And we even got to munch of on some berries:
Buckthorn berries
Buckthorn berries

Arbutus berries
Arbutus berries (AKA Strawberry tree)

Arbutus
The tree itself already developed a new, red skin! They shed the outer bark every fall to allow for new growth, a very impressive sight.

Narcisse de Montagne (Narcissus gazette)
And last but not least: Narcisse de Montagne galore! While the narcissi in the valleys are already done blooming for the most part, the ones in the mountain seem to have just reached their peak. And so we get to enjoy a second season of wild narcissus heavenly scent, after I already thought it was over.

Sunset on the Abaya
May you will alway find the light in every situation, and always find new things to enjoy even within the familiar, the mundane and your immediate surroundings. It's those little simple things that matter the most. This is what our life is made of day in and day out. So make each moment like this count.
Happy Winter Solstice! Happy Chanuka!