Jasper loved the longest night of the year. To anyone else, it would look like he and his dad were just sharing a simple meal and swapping stories in the makeshift kitchen. What only they knew was that on the Winter Solstice, Eric and Jasper could finally get to share some holiday cheer with their extended family. Sif and Thor would bring fresh- baked bread, and warm hugs that smelled of rising yeast. Jasper’s mother, Skuld , and his aunts, Urd and Verdani, would bring mead from Odin’s vaults, and they’d all be careful how they told stories, so as not to spoil any surprises. Ratatoskr would bring crunchy nuts from all over the Nine Worlds. Jarnsaxa would bring a carved roast, but she’d never say what species it had been, or how it was acquired. Loki brought brennevin and promised to be on his best behavior, but he’d have to leave early to visit his children. All would laugh and sing by the fire, and Heimdall would keep the bridge open for as long as they needed it.
Jasper’s favorite part of the Winter Solstice was when he and Jarnsaxa would sneak out to the most remote point of the island, where no light from the docks or the wind farm would reach. He’d nestle in her shoulder, and she’d point out the constellations. She explained that this is how navigation began, how to use those sky-borne pathways to find the connections to the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. She said they were never lost as long as they could look up.
“Remember, when it’s darkest, this is when good things shine the brightest.”
We have a gift for you. You’ve been good to us. You deserve it. Here’s almost half an hour of Jarnsaxa Rising’s behind the scenes moments, bits of our creative process, moments that had to be cut for time (what other treasures were in Mr. Wallace’s trophy case?) , and moments of giddy hilarity. Vince said that he hopes that this is as much silly fun as the blooper reel at the end of a 1970s-era Burt Reynolds movie.
Let us know what you think. We hope to hear from you. Whatever holidays you celebrate, enjoy, and may your new year be bright.