It may be lighter and brighter but it was still 16-morning degrees when I stepped outside. I opened the gate to the chicken pen and lifted the wooden door to their house. Their melodic, soft drawn-out clucks serenaded me. But I only saw two. Where was the third? I made my way to the side hatch-sized panel and opened it and there it was. An egg! It's the first these hens have produced since they were purchased the previous summer. I picked up the cold-shelled wonder and put it my pocket as I thanked the girls.
I light yellow candles to bid the sun's return. I move my solstice tree from the inside of the house to the outside where I will burn it, a ritual flame to give thanks for the turn of the wheel. I will miss the colored lights and pine that have graced my spirit through the darkest time of the year, but it is time. The sun creeps north as I ask what part of my dreams still need illumination?
What egg -- new birth -- awaits the light of day?