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A Wild New Year's Eve

Monday, December 31, 2012

It's New Year's Eve. Geoff Heeter took this photo off our back deck this morning. We're planning a wild party. Wild in the good, clean, quiet sense, in the listening for coyotes sense.

Building a sweat lodge in which to observe the coming of the new year is becoming a tradition for us. Bill leads the way.

It's got everything a body needs. There is a big fire to stare into. There are tools and saws and lots of lugging stuff around in carts.

There are sticks for some of the menfolk to chew.

There is the artful lashing of saplings into a dome-shaped frame. Kyle and Geoff for scale. Our 2012 lodge is smaller this year, more heat-retentive, more modest than the huge teepee we built two years ago. But it's on the same spot. There's a firehole in the middle. So there's also digging.

And splitting wood.

And everywhere the beautiful snow

and the continuous gift of the birches, seeds for the juncos, goldfinches and tree sparrows

There's a newly cut cross-country ski trail in the meadow and orchard

photo by Geoff Heeter

 and we take turns lapping our property on two pairs of skis

photo by Geoff Heeter

There are good friends and laughter and food and bracing cold

 and the friends are the best of all. The kids would be in this picture if they weren't sledding at the time. We've barely seen them. They show up at mealtime and then run off into the snowy fields again.

All is as it should be. There will be no yakkety television, no Times Square ball dropping, no counting down of minutes tonight. Just a snowy silence, a guttering fire, the hiss of water on firebricks, the slow trickle of clean sweat, as it was for millennia, and still is for some who choose it. 
Wild doesn't have to mean dancing on tabletops.
However you spend your New Year's Eve, I hope you dance in your own way, and take the chance to make your 2013 the best year ever.


Wish I was there!

Well geee, it's too bad Rion Prestige doesn't make sweat lodges -- THAT would've made for a whole series of interesting blog posts! ;-)
Happy New Year!!

Wonderful sharing Julie. Thanks for letting us in --even if virtually so! All best and Happy New Year!


Sounds like my kind of party! My friends Courtney and Lee are going to light a bonfire a little after dark at their beautiful place, a chance to share something elemental, with each other and the dogs. Happy new Year!

Julie, doll, sounds like your New Year's will be magical! Best to you and Bill and the kids. What do you use for a skin on that sweatlodge? I don't know if it would work, but billboard vinyls are only 25-50 bucks and can be doubled over, so all you see is white. They have a high wind factor and it's what my Melody used to cover her handmade geodesic dome/home at the Kerrville Folk Festival. It's large, she used two highway sized vinyls to cover the whole thing. I would think you could then cover it with sod or snow or whatever...Love ya, Claire Baker

Some of our BEST New Year's Eve memories were when our kids were young, still living at home, fifth and first grade....we'd be cross county skiing with another family in Nashotah Park....Wisconsin!

A SWEAT lodge?

The snow scenes are just TOO BEAUTIFUL.
Serious snow envy here.

Wow! This sounds so excellent...what time should I be there?

Thanks for the update on your wild New Year's Eve! Sounds perfect. And thanks for the good wishes for 2013! Back at ya! And one more thing--thanks for all that you (and Chet) shared with me (and many others) this year, via blog & FB, via your latest book and the Rain Crow's CD. The laughs, the tears, the quiet moments, the insights, the gratitude felt when I read about you caring for wildlife, the everything. It's all good. I hope I come back here next December to tell you it's been my best year ever!! Namaste.

I'd like to also thank you for sharing your life with your readers.

You had a much better evening than I did - I packed most of my gear up and loaded it in our van while watching some of the fireworks put on by campers just outside the park boundaries; but I got to have three days of camping/hiking, and paddling in the historic Atachfalaya Basin with three friends.

And I enjoyed eating a New Year's Eve supper with new friends.

The wildest we got in our New Year's Eve celebration was snuggling the new babe in our lives.
Love the photos of firey ice.

How to celebrate New Year's Eve 2013, which is very extreme.

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