winter solstice

when i was growing up there was this group of friends in my town, 6 or 7 years older then i was, who were creative, cool, and willing to break the rules for the sake of their notions of fun or creative expression-- they never hurt anyone or did any real damage, but they were smart, rebellious-- wise-asses. they did things like taking all the lightbulbs out of the football scoreboard the night before a big game. silly things. i loved them. every year on the solstice they had a bonfire in a field out in the woods-- the same basic spot every year. friends and i would put on our warmest boots (this was in maine, after all), and walk out there-- finding the trails in the snow and dark was not easy! but when you got close enough you could see the light of the flames, and sometimes hear the voices. people would be drinking, talking, laughing and just standing around the fire. telling stories. the same stories would get told each year. one particularly great one was often told by my future husband about another friend who would break into the school at night and dismantle the clock in the gym so that all the parts were hanging out of the face of the clock! the school put it back together, it would happen again; the school put a metal grill over the clock, only for some teacher to arrive and find the clock dismantled inside the grill (a long, long screwdriver did the trick)! we kept up with the bonfires well into our thirties-- until people stopped coming 'home' at christmas-time due to obligations of marriage and family, or because we were getting old enough that not all our parents were still with us.

i used to walk my dogs out there and sometimes think about those stories.

about 8 years ago someone bought the land (over a hundred acres) that that field was on. that person then built a huge monstrosity of a mcmansion right where we used to have those bonfires. it was one of the ugliest houses i have ever seen.

real bummer.

happy almost birthday, syd.

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