Solstice

For Solstice I decided to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson that takes place at a Solstice party. Enjoy . . .

Meg and Hanna didn’t celebrate Christmas, but celebrated the Solstice as did most of their friends. Of course there was a party, this one at a house overlooking the ocean. We all arrived, all including Karen and Mick, around 4:30 for cocktails along with many others who I now knew. This was a potluck, so there was a copious amount of food and hors d’oeuvres. As usual, marijuana smoke permeated the air. We chatted about, ate, drank until after dark when everyone filled their glasses, got a fresh beer, and headed down long flights of wooden steps to the beach where a I saw huge pile of wood for a bonfire that would be lit to welcome back the new light of the longer days that would begin tomorrow taking us to the summer solstice in June. 

I had never really paid much attention to the solstice, just knew it was the shortest day of sunlight of the year. But these folks seemed to take it more seriously. Everyone gathered in a circle. Some had brought drums, and noise makers and had begun to create a rhythmic background as the circle began to sway back and forth. Someone lit the fire. As it grew, so did the excitement of the drummers and dancers. The circle broke into groups, some began tossing off clothes, some were already naked, dancing ecstatically. Then I saw Karen and Mick, both naked and lost in their revelry. My sister? Dancing naked? I had lost Hanna in the milieu. I slid into the background, into the dark beyond the fire light. My head was spinning like the dancers.

Shit, Russell, this is like some pagan thing. I can’t believe this. I need to leave.

I slipped away to the steps and went back up to the house and got a fresh beer, sat and wondered what I was doing. I felt like maybe I was in something I couldn’t handle. I was also somewhat drunk and high. I was feeling paranoid. All my past ‘shoulds and ought tos’ reared up inside me. What was I doing here? What was I doing with my life? I was wasting time. I was doing exactly what my parents criticized me for doing. Maybe they were right. But I want to be with Hanna. What had I gotten Karen into? What was I going to do? I hadn’t worked in over six months.

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