Everyone else in the house has gone to bed -- well, except for the kittens; they seem to be up still.
So I'm on my own till morning; all my cohorts will be up before the sun, which doesn't rise till about 7:40 tomorrow, and then I'll get to bed soon after that.
I'm making a pot of tea to take upstairs, with my knitting and my books and my journal and my tarot cards. One of my buddies said that it's a good thing I'm on my own this year; I'm so much older than I was the last time I consented to stay up all night on the solstice, there's no surety at all I'm going to make it through. But if I'm on my own, he says, nobody will know.
True, the days are long gone when I cheerfully stayed up all night, after having first gone into the wicked cold Northern California piece of the Pacific. Long gone. I was getting pretty crabby there towards the end of things. Indeed, I distinctly remember having said that when I got out here, where it was after all going to be snowing on the solstice (which indeed it is), and not near any sort of ocean at all (which indeed it isn't), and where I was going to continue, unless I died, to age (which indeed I have), I was going to invent a new solstice night procedure, which was going to involve having a hot bath instead of going in the cold ocean, and then staying up a bit in front of the fire telling stories, and then going to bed at a reasonable hour and then getting up and having pancakes.
Much of that is going on tonight -- the hot bath, the stories -- but I'm NOT in bed at a reasonable hour, and we're having bagels and cream cheese and smoked salmon in the morning.
Still, there should be enough to do to keep me awake in a dignified fashion. (One could surely stay up all night, for instance, playing "Civilization III," but that wouldn't be seemly.)
And over the course of the next few hours, the wheel of the year will turn, and spin that golden sun back on out of the night. I'm hoping it will recharge my life. Straw into gold.