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I'm Christine

I'm a mother, a grandmother,

a life-long seeker of hearts...

teacher, healer, poet, storyteller and wisdom keeper.

I'm a gray-haired mender and maker.

Since I spend almost all my time knitting

both sweaters AND relationships

my (adult) kiddos call me the

Patron Saint of One-on-One Connection.


After Tim and I were married in 1983

for the next seven years we focused on growing our lives together. We worked hard, welcomed one-two-three children, always doing our best to keep up with the goodness and challenges. 


In the spring of 1990, we moved to a small farm on the outskirts of Boise, Idaho. There, we devoted every waking hour to juggling a big house, our jobs, young kiddos, and their pets...along with a huge yard, irrigated acreage, and garden. 


We were short on sleep but living the life we had dreamed of when we spoke our wedding vows. Yet, our days were bursting at the seams. Late at night, in rare quiet moments while I emptied the dishwasher or folded mountains of laundry, I was restless. Beneath all the boisterous commotion, I felt a nagging ache that something was missing.


I worried that I was crazy that with the bounty of our lives, I felt lonely, out-of-sync and disconnected. I had believed that since we were a family, we'd feel connected-automatically.

I imagined because we were related--

and living together, we would just feel close. Instead, as we rushed past each other on our way to the next thing that needed DOING, I kept hearing the call of a deeper river.


Of course, I had been cautioned since my own childhood to hide vulnerable places, taught that talking about feelings was the very definition of a self-centered human. Still my heart yearned for a slow-way-to-know-my-people, a quiet place apart from our busy-ness where we could listen deeply.


Finally, I just couldn't help it. I let myself wistfully imagine a world where it was normal, even expected for us (children and adults) to spend time speaking the contents of our hearts out loud. Then I set out to create that place.

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So, there I was on December 21, 1990,

in our dark kitchen, my hands were shaking. We were gathered around our dinner table as the sun set on the longest night of the year. I had convinced Tim that a simple, ceremonial process for growing gratitude would be beneficial for our family. 

Even though this idea felt daring and a bit risky, I had boldly proclaimed:

            "It'll be OK. We will just start by sharing appreciation...after all, how could saying Thank You for loving me in these ways...hurt anybody?"

But after we turned off every light in the house, set our handmade candles on the table, with all eyes fixed on me, I wobbled. My mouth was dry, it was hard to swallow, and I wondered, 

"What if I'm wrong?"

On that cold, snowy night I was a scared beginner. 

Thank goodness as I hesitated, the children's trusting, curious and expectant faces continued looking up at me in the shadowed room. It was their willingness that pushed me forward. I simply leaned in their eagerness, lit the single red ancestor candle, and we were pulled into the unknown together. 


From the darkness, came light. We each held our own candle up to that one flame, and the light grew.


I believe: 


it's time to move beyond a culture of isolation and the silencing of feelings


families benefit from consciously build safe spaces to practice relationship maintenance 

it is possible to create a world where we can skillfully express our feelings while being listened to, received, encouraged, accepted, received, loved, and welcomed


a "tradition of talking" nurtures true connection and should be a top priority in families 


being willing to try is better than waiting until it's perfect when expressing appreciation, gratitude, affection, compassion and also fear, desire, hope, worry, confusion, regret, vulnerability, grief, excitement 



living an authentic, intentional, meaningful, handmade life takes actual work and is a process

The fastest way to grow closer is to slow down.

Global transformation begins within our own hearts and homes

I know from experience that knitting beautiful, colorful, warm sweaters AND beautiful, colorful, warm relationships takes a similar creative commitment. Both require us to devote time, intention, faithfulness, and dedicated, repeated work......


solstice gives families a warm place in a cold season....

an essential, slow time for tiny winter miracles



Solstice for us has become an anchor, a lighthouse.

A moment once a year to witness and receive the sacred in each other and a remembrance calling us home when things get really hard and challenging. The first year my husband and I tried it, we'd only been married a few months. I was so deeply touched at the intimacy we found together, as though it marked the foundation of our life together and an intention to always see each other's goodness. 


After our first year, I wanted all my friends to try it with their families! In our culture which can be so devoid of ceremony, Solstice offers a simple way back to the ground of our hearts. It's so beautifully accessible for all. It is a deep honoring of community, the mystery, and the cycles of nature, within and without. I highly recommend trying this easy and simple practice with your family, friends, roommates, co-workers - whatever your community looks like. It will change your world and how you approach your connections in all walks of life. 


Amaya Villazan

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