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Winter Solstice Celebration - Lighting the Longest Night

Ninth Annual 2002 Program

Newspaper Article:
Olympia welcomes winter in downtown celebration

History of solstices

At present, Earth Day is the only community day dedicated to encouraging appreciation and protection of the natural environment. The Winter Solstice Celebration, as produced by Earthbound Productions in partnership with other local organizations, is designed to bring community members together in a public recognition of our interconnection and dependence upon the natural systems of the planet. Free of charge and open to the entire community, the solstice program engages participants through music, thought and theater in a manner that reflects the wonderment and sacredness of all living creatures.

Both subtle and reverent in its presentation, the Winter Solstice has gained wide community acceptance with over 1,200 people attending in the year 2000 in the Olympia Capitol Rotunda. Expanding the presentation in 2001, two programs were offered along with a first lighted Walk of Remembrance down to Capitol Lake with 1,500 attending that year. The 9th year took place on stage in the Capitol Theatre in 2002 with a lighted children's luminaria, followed by a candle-lit Walk of Reflection to Sylvester Park.

Ninth Annual 2002 Program - Home Is a Circle

A long, long time ago, when the universe was still dark, empty and cold, Wind called forth the stars into the night sky and set everything into motion...

And so begins the story of our Solstice travelers who journey to the far reaches of the five directions to learn what it means to create a Home. And what they learn is that if they just stop, just for a moment, and listen, they will hear the music that will guide them along their way. It is in the same Spirit of this magical season of the longest night that we ask you also to pause, listen and reflect on what your home truly means to you.

The Solstice Celebration, as we of Earthbound Productions are presenting it, is not about replacing Christmas or replicating some ancient ritual. It is about deepening our appreciation and respect for each other by renewing our understanding that we are all part of an amazing cosmic miracle… the natural world. Regardless of our beliefs and lifestyles, no other time of the year points this out more dramatically than the longest night of winter.

The 2002--Walk of Reflection to Sylvester Park
Upon leaving the Capitol Theater, participants received a small votive candle to light and carry to a dedication gathering held in Sylvester Park. Written intentions, fastened to the slender branches provided at the theater, were also carried and fashioned into a beautiful wreath on the gazebo floor. The lit candles were placed inside the wreath.

The Walkway of Reflection is dedicated to all of the rescue personnel from firefighters to 911 medics, to emergency room nurses to Safeplace Shelter guardians to Crisis Clinic Volunteers. The reason being that these are the few remaining areas where, as a society, we truly acknowledge by our actions, that life is sacred. As such, the intent of the Walk is to create a moment where we step outside of our daily lives and reflect on the contributions that others have made on our behalf.

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