Letter from Cressida Pryor
December 18, 2019
Winter Solstice 2019
It feels like it has already been a long winter...in the UK we’ve had an extra General Election, storms
and other challenges...no more or less than many others in other parts of the world...but it still
depletes energy levels and resources.
And yet despite these unpredictable events, there is another rhythm that I find deeply grounding
akin to marking the year with festivals and services...
Sitting next to me as a type now, in a little wicker basket, in the warm, is a gently rising round ball of
sourdough dough...it’s soothing presence is almost that of a live pet; a faithful companion that
requires feeding and looking after...my sourdough starter is now over two years old and is tended
with much care and tenderness.
The rhythm of regular baking I find calming and immensely rewarding. Each loaf is different and this
is part of the fun of it. Different proportions of varied types of flour, slightly different timings,
temperatures and just the serendipity of a perfect combination may render an especially good
It takes all day to achieve a good loaf...it isn’t quick and that’s part of its discipline and charm.
At the moment I have just one image on my Instagram account (Cressidart) and it’s of a ‘good
Why does this seem relevant at this time now? It’s the awareness that’s there’s a lot of waiting
about when baking....and this is a time of waiting too...and it’s hard waiting in the cold and rain, and
its getting darker, until Sunday at least. Waiting with the sense that there are good things to come,
waiting in hope for the return of light and the sun...knowing that without the quiet waiting there
wouldn’t be the satisfaction of a ‘good life loaf’...we need the rest, the quiet to restore and recue
our energies; allowing the yeast to work and do its magic, so we too can do our magic by reaching
out across the divisions that beset our communities...and to take steps to heal broken conversations
Blessed Isis in your sacred Unity
open our lungs to your breath of love within us...
In the extreme of the year
Strengthen our footsteps when we falter
Our balance if we tumble
and give us the peace, courage and love
to reach out to the hands held out to guide us.
And may we find Joy in our hearts and this world...
So may it be, amen.
With love & Solstice blessings,
Cressida, FOI Steward