The old year closed with a flurry of festivities here in Chagford. There was drumming in the Square, Breton dancing in the village hall, a Solstice bonfire or two, and a great deal of music in all the village pubs...including a dazzling Sunday session in the tiny Northmoor Arms (down a green country lane between Chagford and Throwleigh), where musicans from Telling the Bees, Wod, Red Dog Green Dog, Krasa and others all gathered together, raising the roof with tunes and songs for a magical three or four hours.
Meanwhile, Howard and friends were brewing up some "hoggler magic" in his theatre studio, The Little Cabin by the Woods: turning a simple piece of old cloth into a living, breathing creature of myth. (Read the hoggler's story in the post below.)
And when the story was done, and we'd had a night's rest, it was time to prepare for the holidays.
Tilly helped me gather ivy, holly, and pines boughs to decorate the house for the Yuletide feast...
Out on the village Commons, we discovered a Wishing Chair...which seems just right for the season.
We read all the wishes tied to the chair, and then added a few new ones of our own. No, I'm not going to tell you what they were -- but here's my turn-of-the-year wish for all of you:
May the year ahead be magical, transformational, and wildly creative, but also calm and thoughtful, harmonious and balanced. May your pathway lie clear, your desk clean and ready, with the tools that you need always right near at hand. May your body and mind and spirit be strong for the things that you know in your heart must do (and may this be the year that you finally do them). May your work go well, and your rest time too. May problems be fewer and friends be many. May old hurt soften and old grief lighten. May life, art, and love never fail to surprise you.