December 21st brought the shortest day and the longest night to the northern hemisphere, and marked the first day of winter. North County Land Trust, with support from The Trustees of Reservations and the Leominster Library, celebrated with a diverse crowd of folks at the Doyle Community Park in Leominster, MA. The evening began with thoughtful readings by NCLT Executive Director, Anna Wilkins, a kid-led carol sing along, and hot cider and cocoa. Bobby Curley from North Quabbin Trails Association presented our GRIT Freedom chair to the crowd and local resident and retired Trustees employee, Dick O’Brien, led interested folks on a guided walk sharing history about the Doyle Estate. where the lantern walk was held.
“We celebrate the return of the light by lighting candles and carrying our own lanterns. We celebrate the dark and death, because in nature, death makes room for new life. We find space and rest and peace in the darkness and hope and renewal in the light.” -Anna Wilkins
Everyone chose their own adventure and enjoyed a lantern-lit walk under the clear, night sky, reflecting on the new year to come, some writing down their wishes for the new year or things to let go of and dropping them in the fire to set their wish in motion. Over 300 lanterns made from recyclables, paper bags, and rescued materials lined the mile long loop. Attendees brought any number of lantern creations of their own. Thank you all for joining us on a perfect night to welcome back the light, if you missed it, check out the photo gallery below to see how we celebrated.