"For Leslie Kirk Campbell, 'the season of the longest nights — winter solstice and the end of the calendar year' — she organizes her study and clears away clutter, until her workspace represents her writing priorities for the coming year, said Campbell, author of the forthcoming 'The Man With Eight Pairs of Legs.'
In years past, she and her partner would drive to Green Gulch Zendo to sit with dozens of others on zabutons. 'At midnight, we all set tiny origami boats with candles onto the pond, then drink hot cider around a bonfire, tossing what we wish to leave behind into the flames.'
The pandemic interrupted the tradition, which is being hosted online this year; they’ll join if their travel plans allow. And if they’re in town, on New Year’s Day, they’ll drive to Ocean Beach and dash into the icy waves. 'Immersing ourselves, a kind of secular baptism, then run shivering back to our car and head home, ready, we hope, to brave the joys and sorrows that will be presented to us in our newest year.'”