This is my solstice post from 2014. It bears re-posting on this winter solstice as well:
Today is the shortest day of the year. It’s appropriately gray outside. The light is dim and anemic.
I love this day.
I begin to think about the winter solstice right around the time the leaves start to fall from my garden in October. There is a certain sadness to fall, the end of something, the closing down of the machine of life. Or so it seems.
But what’s magical about the winter solstice is the fact that hope stirs well before it’s discernible to us. What we consider the “first day of winter,” actually, meteorologically, is the day we begin the walk to spring. Within the beginning of the dark and cold days is the incremental march toward spring’s showy rebirth.
I took a climate and meteorology class in college. I did only because it happened to fit my schedule and meet a requirement. But it’s one of the classes I most remember. Part of what it taught me is how, exactly, the earth warms and cools and why winter and summer happen the way they do. Although the northern hemisphere begins to be exposed to ever more sun starting tomorrow, it won’t be for months that it will build into enough warmth to wake the green back up into a lush spring. I find that magical and full of hope.
Life takes time, and change is slowly building beneath our feet even when we can’t see it. When it seems like the cold, dim days are just beginning, in fact the change is already underway that will result in a radiant spring. That’s what’s awesome about the winter solstice.
Tonight I’ll bundle up and make a fire in my fire pit outside, letting the flames light the inky night with the reminder of the sun, towards which we’re gently turning. And note, again, that much of what is good starts well before we can see it.