Sunday, 21 December 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year ..


The winter solstice happened at precisely 12.04pm. Today was the shortest day, and tonight will be the longest night of the year. In the next few days it will be possible to discern the slight shift at dawn, where not only will the sun rise earlier, but it will be seen to be moving East along the horizon again, towards the spring equinox!

This indeed is cause for excitement and just as our ancestors, the ancient people of this land, celebrated wildly in much the same way that we do now, with gifts of community and joyful merriment, I think that, more than any other point in our modern calender, this is the time when we feel most acutely, those same urges for celebration that they felt and although our focus is different now, we still share a sense of relief and anticipation, after the long months of darkness. The cold and damp weather will continue for some months to come, but it's not the temperature that is the problem here! At this time of midwinter, we are all still celebrating, in one way or another, the return of light from darkness, or in more primal terms, the birth of the sun. We can start getting on with things soon!

As always, looking deep into nature, when everything around us seems decayed and lifeless, when energy is low, and nothing appears to be growing, the first stirrings of something new are twitching into life beneath the ground. Though we cannot see the new shoots yet, those seeds and bulbs and tubors, which have lain dormant through winter, and which have stored their energy within the darkness, within themselves for all this time, are now being nudged awake in readiness for the new surge of creativity which the sun will bring with the longer days of spring. The sap will start to rise soon.

This is what I celebrate now. An acknowledgment of the creative power of darkness, and an awakening into the start of another cycle and the potential of all that it holds.

Happy Solstice!!

6 comments:

Kitty said...

Happy Winter Solstice to you Julia. Just this morning I was explaining to a friend that the Sun is the furthest 'South' it will go and now we are on the way to the Vernal Equinox. I love it when all the shoots start shooting - can't wait.

x

Lorna said...

I breathed a sigh of relief that the bottom of the year had been reached. I yearn for the return of the light.

Adam said...

Me too. The day the clocks go back is the worst of the year. Now I can start watching my sunrise/sunset calendar in the knowledge that, every day, there's a little tiny bit more light. And by February, I really start to notice it. Roll on spring.

jennyflower said...

Happy Yule. I love the shortest day and I can picture my Granfer stood before the window saying in his best Dorzet, 'the nights are fare drawin out', can't wait to say it!

joannabags said...

I was thinking about this on the way to the gym this morning. happy solstice Julia
ps - got the vinyl from Hobbycraft

dottycookie said...

Happy Solstice!

Scarily enough I can see the tips of our daffodils already peeping through. I think they may be in for one heck of a shock come January ...