Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas trees are for sale at the grocery store we frequent in Pétion-ville for $536.00 and $699.00:
Because we frequent this grocery store so frequently, when we stopped in to pick up coffee yesterday we were gifted with this 10 lb frozen turkey. It's from North Carolina (which is where we are headed in a few short hours) and will provide our neighbors, to whom we re-gifted it, with a Christmas feast.
Unfortunately, not everyone in Haiti will wake up tomorrow to a $700 Christmas tree and free turkey dinner. In fact, not everyone will wake up in a bed tomorrow. Or even in a house with four walls and a roof... 

We are exposed to extreme wealth juxtaposed by extreme poverty everyday, but still this article about poverty in Haiti's displacement camps this Christmas broke my heart. May it break yours, too, and as we celebrate this holiday remind us all that our planet is brimming with injustice, inequality and oppression. The conquering and redemption of all of that is what the season is about, no?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Solstice on the Farm

The winter solstice demonstrates the enduring cycle of the heavens by an event that has been directly observable, year in and year out, century after century, for millions of years. The new year begins with the turning point of the winter solstice, as it has down through eons-an unending cycle of dark and light, waning and waxing, ultimately representing nature's birth, death, and rebirth. The winter solstice is a time to affirm our spiritual ties to nature through celebrations and traditions that are thousands of years old. The season is a time to renew family ties, take joy in our natural environment, reflect on the events of the old year, and look forward in anticipation to the new. -- Lisa Hutchins

We spent our "new year" on the farm: making a solstice/Christmas wreath with found treasures, delighting in friends and nature, digging new garden beds and playing by a fire. The next day dawned just a little bit earlier.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Loquat jam

:the imperfect result of combining five pounds of loquats with three sticky hours in the kitchen. Ideas welcome for how we should use the copious amount of loquats that will be ready for harvest on the farm in January and February.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas branch

Ben's leg has healed up just fine. Our spirits are taking a little longer to heal fully, but in ten days we board an American Airlines flight to spend Christmas with our families. It will be the first time in six years that I've eaten my mom's ritual caramel pecan sticky buns on Christmas morning. We're excited. When we come back, we move more permanently up to the farm. We're excited for that, too.

Meanwhile, this lovely branch has been pulled out of our storage room to evoke the season. I do love the tradition of the Christmas tree. I love that it stems from an ancient practice of honoring life and anticipating spring during the winter solstice (the longest night of the year), now combined with elements that symbolize my own faith tradition - the lights that represent the birth of Christ. The side of me that rebels against the "institution" of church loves putting up my tree knowing that the Puritans banned them. I love that I bought this particular "tree" on the side of Avenue Pan-American, that it's painted white instead of green and that it's fixed into a recycled milk can with concrete. I love that my ornaments are all local and handmade. And I love the way it looks at night when all of the other lights in the house are turned off.


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