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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

There¹s no place like home: Scenes of Solstice comfort and joy

By Beth

Now is the solstice of the year,
winter is the glad song that you hear.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Have the lads up ready in a line.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Join together beneath the mistletoe.
by the holy oak whereon it grows.
Seven druids dance in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Praise be to the distant sister sun,
joyful as the silver planets run.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.
Ring out those bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.
Ring on, ring out.
Ring on, ring out.

Ring out Solstice Bells- Jethro Tull

I can hardly believe it, but once again the wheel of the year has turned completely round and I find myself preparing for the winter Solstice gathering that my sister and I give every year. It’s a lively party and as I write this I find myself wishing that I could share it someday with each and every one of you. We drink lots of spicy rum soaked eggnog and eat incredibly satisfying, fattening food. We spend all kinds of time kissing and hugging old friends under the mistletoe! My sister Ellen who I teasingly refer to as the “Goddess of Chocolate” is busy baking in her kitchen and I am busy cooking in mine, vast kettles of soup made from apples, cheddar and ale, pumpkin and peanut butter. Next I will bake casseroles of au gratin potatoes and spicy baked squash to go with the turkey and ham. Gabriel , my little corgi who we came so close to losing last year is laying happily at my feet, waiting anxiously to catch any lost scraps!

This years Winter Solstice is particularly satisfying for my family, not just because of the wondrous full moon and accompanying lunar eclipse, but because at Solstice time last year I found myself at a crossroads in my life. It’s been a long decade… see at the beginning of the recession in 2003 I closed my families business, one of the most established gift and jewelry stores in the city of Cleveland, a place that was beloved by everyone and still remembered with incredible fondness. I think that it was possibly the most difficult decision that I’d ever had to be a part of, a bit like killing off a family member. At the same time, my family and I made the decision to give up our beloved farm, Windesphere so that we could be closer to my mom and dad who were in their 80’s and definitely needed us to be close by as they had been working full time until then and I knew that the loss of their life’s work would be so incredibly wounding.

It was a time for healing and starting over and my life has been lived in a series of gorgeous apartments ever since. I swore at the time that I would never own another house because I wanted to be free as a gypsy and never again experience a loss that immense. It has been a good 9 years with plenty of beginnings and endings and a lot of richness that frosted those moments together. My son grew up and moved across the country and in that moment I became a mother but no longer a parent. My own mother has passed away and my parent’s home that I grew up in has been sold to another young family who are creating a lifetime of memories there. My father is living well in a nursing home and no longer needs me to tend to his everyday needs and there is plenty of time now for just me and my husband to get to know each other again, not as the parents we were, but as the lovers that we had always been.

Yet last year as I prepared the Solstice meal I wondered what the longing was, the gnawing that I was experiencing in my heart; the feeling of complete and utter homelessness that I was experiencing even though I was far from homeless. It was then I realized the dream that was taking shape even though consciously I was fighting it tooth and nail. I was longing for a home for myself and my family; a place where my son could come back to whenever he wanted, a place that we could decorate the way that we wanted and most importantly for someone like me, a place that had two ovens and two refrigerators!

When my husband came home Solstice eve I told him tearfully that I felt that I couldn’t bear to go through another holiday without another home of our own, that I was ready to take the chance again and while I was at it I wanted a business of my own again, another thing that I said that I’d never do. When my sister and I lit the Yule log that evening I made a pretty big wish…..

This years Solstice finds me standing in the warm kitchen of a beautiful brick home that we’ve purchased, a wonderful old duplex with an enormous fenced in side yard where this summer I planted fruit trees and had my first vegetable garden in 9 years. I have two refrigerators and two gas ranges! We are living in one side of it while redoing the other and I once again have a neighborhood filled with little children! I woke up this morning to find a beautiful little box of home baked Christmas cookies on my doorstep and best of all Alex has returned home from California to live once again in Cleveland , a city that he swore he’d never live in again but grew to love once he was gone away.

As for me, well I took the plunge, purchasing for myself the rights to the name of my old business and started over again the long slow process of rebuilding and rebranding it into its new form, a lifestyle consulting business that I’ve named Schreibman’s Live. I called my sister the day that I reincorporated and she congratulated me and asked me if I remembered what day it was.

It was August 11th, my mothers birthday.

So it’s been a very fine year and all of you have been blessings for me as I’ve gone through it, even if you never knew it. Perfume has always been a huge part of my life and I love sharing it, but when I started writing about it here for Perfume Smellin Things I didn’t realize the intense joy and healing that it would bring me. The internet is a strange and delightful place and I’ve created wonderful relationships with so many of you whom I may never meet in person, but that I care about deeply. The fact that you have taken your time to comment on my reviews delights me, but even more so your friendship has sustained me through some of the most difficult times of my life. I love you all so very much and even if we never meet know that you touch my heart everyday… you really do.

I wish for you all on this Solstice eve everything that your hearts truly desire, whether it be a warm home for your body or your heart. I wish for you all to feel blessed and happy . I wish for you all the abundance that you so richly deserve of perfume as well as pennies. I selfishly wish for they who shall not be named to remove all of their silly restrictions this year so that my beloved Magie Noire can be made whole once again!

I am so very grateful for each of your hands to hold on this longest night of the year. Be well, go with love and know that you are truly cherished….Even though we are not together tonight ,I am gathering you all around my table , feeding you, warming you by the fire ,laughing with you a bit and sending you off into the night with treats and hugs and Solstice blessings.

Make a wish tonight…any wish that you want!

Brightest Blessings,



Blogger Flora said...

Dear Beth, I am so very happy for you! What goes around comes around, and you are such a giving person, it's only right that you have found what gives you the most joy. I wish you all success in your new venture - and your new home!

2:15 AM EST  
Blogger Tama said...

Beth, what a lovely story! I am so happy for you and your new beginnings. This has been an interesting, good year, and I am feeling more changes afoot for the next one.

Happy solstice! Your party sounds divine. I was just standing in my robe out in the rain, hoping that the moon would show herself. She peeped out a little earlier, with part of the eclipse showing, but now it is cloudy again. But, it may clear up just long enough - you never know.

2:48 AM EST  
Blogger Michael said...

Beth, that's a wonderfully touching story, and thank you for sharing it with us. I'm glad that you and your family are rebuilding your lives and best wishes for the future.

4:48 AM EST  
Anonymous mocards said...

Your stories always touch my heart. I'm so pleased to learn you've resumed your business and have a new home. Thank you for all the beautiful stories you've shared with us this past year. Wishing you great success for your new business and extreme patience in your home renovation. Happy Solstice!

5:54 AM EST  
Blogger Karin said...

What a wonderful story of healing and rediscovering - thanks for sharing with us, Beth! Cheers to you for daring to dream again, and following your heart. What's that trite saying again? Never say never? It's happened in my life, too, and I found that breaking through that artificial boundary brought tremendous blessing.

7:29 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you for such a beautiful article, Beth! Here is to wonderful new beginnings!

8:26 AM EST  
Blogger queen_cupcake said...

This was so beautiful--not only your story, but the comments as well. Warmest wishes for a happy holiday season and a great 2011 to all who read here!

8:31 AM EST  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Dear Beth, what a beautiful, moving story! Wishing you lots of happiness in the next year, and I am raising a glass (for now, with green tea, as it is 8:30am here :) to your new beginnings!

8:32 AM EST  
Anonymous Scent Hive said...

Beth, I am so grateful for you too! This piece, along with several others have touched me deeply this year, and I look forward to even more in 2011.

I am so happy for you and your new home, and your son coming back of course!

May you have many more blessings in the new year.


10:20 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

what a lovely piece! My best to you in the new year!

11:13 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many blessings, Beth!
Your party sounds wonderful- I've been celebrating by exchanging artist cards with friends to mark the day, I have a wonderful collection from all over the world!

12:24 PM EST  
Anonymous Cerise said...

Lovely to hear about your life past and present, Beth, and to get to know you better via this sharing. Peace and love to all!

1:31 PM EST  
Anonymous Tamara*J said...

Beth I always adore your posts, you seem like such a kindred spirit and one I would like to know. Have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for always letting us into your world..

Love, T

2:09 PM EST  
Blogger JoAnne Bassett said...

Thank you Beth for a very heart warming and touching story..I wish you great success and happiness in 2011. Happy Solstice, Full moon, and Eclipse...all in one breath.
Fragrant blessings.

8:40 PM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

Your story is so to touching, Beth. I wish you many blessings, most especially days filled with love and fulfillment in years to come!

9:24 AM EST  

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