PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - 12/21/13
Freezing rain and sleet on Saturday evening couldn't stop ROTA Gallery from celebrating the winter solstice.
As an icy drizzle fell the group hung close around the fire pit set up in the park next to ROTA. A path and gathering area had been cleared through the crusty snow, hard shoveling.
A few participants burnt slips of paper in the brazier. The non-religious ceremony involved writing on one slip a bad habit, mistake, or something else of a negative nature the person wanted to let go in the new year. A second slip was tossed into the fire, this one mentioning a positive goal such as a change in character or developing better habits.
Responding to an email inquiry after the ceremony ROTA President Jenn Allen explained: "The burning of these things stays in the memory, fire being a strong image in our minds, and it helps us to stay on course for the coming year."
"Celebrating the winter months," she said, "and the connection it has to our own lives helps us remember how to enter silence now and then, and to recharge for the next seasons of busy-ness."
The evening wrapped up inside with performances by local musicians: Kevin Sabourin and Meadow Eliz, Theresa Hartford, Adrian Aardvark and Purple Recall, and a folk duo called Soma Flora: Joseph Biss and Kari Jane.
Jenn Allen said that a summer solstice celebration is being planned.
Embedded below is a slideshow of images from the ROTA Winter Solstice Celebration. If you're unable to see it with your browser, you can view the complete set at this Photobucket link: http://bit.ly/1cjNpyi .