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A Winter’s Evening Campfire

In honor of our latest snowfall, a post about a program I hosted a few weeks ago:

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A December evening in the forest. It’s cold. And dark. But a blanket of snow covers the woodland landscape, creating magic. An almost-full moon pours bright light onto us. And flames from a campfire crackle, coals deep-red with heat, ready for the group to gather ‘round. The scene is idyllic and iconic. Yet real.

About 30 adults and children have joined me at the local park to learn about the winter solstice — its origins, its traditions, and its link with contemporary holiday celebrations. Then a trek through the woods, snow crunching under our footsteps. Games to test our senses at night. Roasting s’mores over a campfire. Ending with a holiday sing-along.

Surprisingly, for most of these folks tonight, it’s their first time to the park. I am fascinated that people would choose a cold winter evening for their first visit. Is it the draw of the mystery of night? An opportunity to explore nature differently? A unique way to celebrate the holidays? A chance to “play” in the snow? For whatever reason, I’m happy that so many people chose to experience a magical night in nature.

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