Christmas Eve in the West of Ireland


There was  a full moon on the Winter Solstice, an unusual event and not occurring in my lifetime again, so, very special to me.


As my ancestors before me, I celebrate the Solstice, marking the longest night of the year and with the promise of all that lies ahead…

The ritual of fire and feast, music and drink, gathering of family and friends are all important aspects of the Winter Solstice.

faa095f3-3444-4ff8-85d7-2ed42b2e309cThe youngest member of my little tribe was here, forming a focal point for us all as we gathered to celebrate.

8d34b1d6-9432-4e19-8499-c3160d377e92She is displaying a love for the natural world in her wish to be carried around outside and shown the many aspects of the woodland sanctuary, engaging with me as I show her the trees and birds.

Then, in the blink of an eye, the gathering disappears off to their own homes and further adventures of Yule and I am, once more, alone with Jack, birdsong and the increasing energy of the Otherworld all in and around the cottage.

kClN706URJ+1eNruuPNAmAI venture out to collect a few necessities from town and on my way home am enchanted to pull over the car and embrace the quickening evening.


Dragon’s Breath as is known, moves silently over the fields.

The evening before Christmas Eve is preparing for a quiet slumber in the way in which only happens at this time of year.

A+%uXWYfRx6NgK5Y3AJXhgMist is rolling in across the lough.

t4c5%4z2Sx60AC3mj67xXgIn the rush that is corporate Christmas, most people have not the time to stop and take in this ethereal beauty…I find myself alone in the blue twilight of an Irish evening in late December.

pPzX8S4KGmhOc53T+CgnUKlVuoXR0eLf0ZPbPZayAThe days that follow a gathering are eerily silent.

The sheer contrast of it all!

mhJKVbkqToSCHLxMv9FUXgI am reminded of my solitude.

E3Od4xkFSJqXBfm6a+gdBAThis is a physical solitude, I remind myself, for I am immersed in many lives at Bealtaine Cottage.

uZAezoSuQJq%s3yu72byHALike the time of year, a reminder that days of quickening light lie ahead, when the light and sounds of Spring will make the quiet evenings something to look forward to.

HMUg9TYOktiVFSwNAnd so I make my way home, immersed in the silence of the land itself, at one with this ancient land, my home.



  1. Hi Colette, I have just found you, from sunny Australia and am in awe of your beautiful home and land. I resonate with you on so many levels, your food rants about corporate brainwashing sounded like my own. Blessed Day and I look forward to learning lots from your peaceful sanctuary.

  2. I love the silence that falls across the land at this time of the year … a going-within time, in preparation for the coming season. The dragon’s breath was quite wonderful on the video, but you have truly captured the magic with the photos. Thank you for sharing them. 😀

  3. Wishing you many blessings this season, and all the best for 2019. Thank you for sharing your life with us. From Nova Scotia, Canada.

  4. Merry Christmas, Happy Yule Tide Blessings and a Belated Happy Winter Solstice Dear Colette. I’ll be ordering calendars for friends in mid January if you still have any remaining for sale. Happy New Year for 2019. Love and blessings always.

  5. Lovely post, Colette. Merry Christmas from Durham, NC! I also enjoyed your music and the fire on Solstice. And to all a good night.

  6. Merry Christmas from Thailand! A crisp morning here about 15 C in the mountains. Love your blog, Collette! I am doing something similar here – but with different plants!

  7. I love your beautiful photos Colette. I wish you a wonderful Yule from New Hampshire. I already have your calendar for next year.

  8. It was lovely to see you with your grandaughter. Such serene photos that you captured in time. I just finished watching Its a wonderful life! The house is filled with candlelight and its a very quiet Christmas Eve. I do wish you a blessed and heartfelt Yule and hope that you have a wonderful day when you wake up. May the sun kiss your face while the birds serenade your soul. I am sure you don’t desire the cold and snow that we are getting in Canada. Thank you once again for sharing your kind and thoughtful words and your sanctuary home. Love Isabella

  9. Stunningly beautiful photographs, and such meaningful words. And…you are “immersed in many lives” around the world, as well, thank goodness! You have enriched so many lives, dear Colette!
    Sending warm wishes to you from the West Coast of Canada….where the worst wind storm in our history has recently passed, leaving us in peace, just in time for Christmas!

  10. Bright Yuletide blessings and sparkly Christmas hugs! Lots of love and gratitude from the Suffolk Coast. Xxxxx

  11. Lovely, Colette, and I know what you mean about the solitude after everyone has gone. Takes a bit of getting used to again! But what better way than communing with Nature. We’re having an extra wet and windy Christmas here in New Zealand so it was goodbye to the hollyhocks and sweet peas ….. have a wonderful Christmas, thinking of you and Jack xx

  12. Your granddaughter is blessed to have you, as are your whole family and friends. The internet is also blessed to have you! Also, your woodland sanctuary and all the life there. 💚

  13. Beautiful pictures Colette, Marry Christmas to you and Jack <3
    P.S. I send you email today, if it will be still awailble, I choose big keyring 🙂 . Today I also send you a post, I hope that it will be everything ok 🙂 Blessings <3

  14. Beautiful Colette, celebrating a joyous time with your family and friends during the Winter Solstice. Wishing you a peaceful, happy Christmas day and look forward to sharing the new year with you and Jack online at Bealtaine Cottage. X

      • Merry Christmas Colette, thank your for a lovely year of gorgeous photos and interesting and fun videos. This is truly a special and magical time… I remember a favorite line: “My Grandpa used to say, “On Christmas eve when t​he veils between this world and the next thin out, and that’s when the spirits cross over and walk among us.” Colette, may your beloved ones join you on your holiday walks.

Your comments are welcome!