Velija on Solstice

Last night (Solstice) we gathered for our annual Velija celebration with our neighborhood friends. This was only our fourth year being invited, but already this tradition has seeped into our lives as one of our most cherished things we do all year.
We gather with friends and share a 9 course Slovakian feast (whiskey, bread and raw garlic, babikies, .smoked salmon, sauerkraut soup with mashed potato, split pea soup, mushrooms, stewed prunes).  To toast again and again in gratitude, and for friendship, and to the spark that remains at this dark time of year. It is about hope and faith that the light will return both physically and spiritually in the world.

As the longest night of the year begins I am sitting at a long, beautifully decorated table with my family, raising a whiskey glass:

Nastrovia! Cheers! To Health! To Ema! (Ema's birthday always falls on this day)
(clink, clink, clink)

I feel very blessed to be able to sit by candlelight and see my friends changing and growing older each year. Some big changes, some small. New babies... different haircuts... changing partners.... It is in the repetition of the same meal and the same group of friends that brings a safe place to reflect on the past, and to say a prayer for the future, and be grateful for the moment.

Cheers! Happy Solstice!

1 comment:

wildviolets said...

Sounds like such an awesome party and tradition!