In the morning light we look across the dew-drenched pasture to the graceful flight of golden maple leaves descending onto their bright autumn carpet beneath the ancient firs of Magic Hill. We think about the year that has been, the Yuletide season to come, and are filled with wonder at the intricate web of life that both determines our course and demands our creative intention. In these trying times we are struck with a notion that we have the ability to envision a better future for our world in the face of adversity and that each step in overcoming brings us close to our true home.
From time to time in our quest we stop to ask: What is the real meaning of our Celtic Yuletide tradition? On the one hand it is a grand celebration filled with music, dance, storytelling, juggling, and singing-in short, a joyful collaboration of many fine artistic talents, with a nod toward the solemn festival of mid-winter, universally celebrated by various religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions around the world. More importantly, it brings a sense of community and a common journey-a bright ray of hope shining through the darkest night. It represents a triumph of the human spirit.
Our family began this tradition twenty-six years ago when the children were very young. Many of you have watched them grow as Celtic Yuletide evolved. Soon our five, now ages 33 to 22, will be arriving with their families, one by one, three generations strong. Four-year-olds Kailey and Rowan have been practicing on their little harp and dulcimer which Papa made for the last year. Marshall and Abby’s beautiful little Margaret celebrates her first birthday this November, while Geoffrey and Erin await the arrival of Kailey’s first sibling in January. Rowan’ parents Brenin and Sara provide a solid foundation for Yuletide close to home with cello and Irish dance. Morgan has moved to Philadelphia, where his wife Lara has taken up studies at medical school. Brittany, our youngest, graduated from Rice University in Houston last May, and is now pursuing graduate work in Los Angeles at the prestigious Colburn School of Performing Arts, under the tutelage of world-renowned Robert Lipsett. She has already had a stint with the Pasadena Symphony, just gave a stunning recital in Seattle, and will be performing a special violin solo at this year’s Yuletide. Philip and Pam have had a bountiful harvest of students young and old, from Waldorf schools in Seattle to Magic Hill’s Summer Harp Camp and first-time Fairy School. The School of Magical Strings is in its 27th year...much sawdust has been made! For more details we encourage you to visit our website.
We hope many of you will come and share the joy of Yuletide with us, and be inspired by the ancient bards who gave voice to the glories and sorrows of ages past... This is the annual call of the season, which we answer resoundingly with music and dance! Come don a costume, process through the hall, join in the caroling, and celebrate with us-be filled to overflowing, and spread the healing light of Yuletide!
Philip and Pam
Read last year's newsletter