The winter solstice occurs in North America tonight. For many years I've celebrated with friends, usually with a bonfire, hot chocolate, and a potluck feast of Christmas cookies, sometimes with a snowshoe hike in the woods, all depending on the weather. Those friends are in Minnesota so it will be different this year.
Solstice means "when the sun stands still." The days begin to lengthen so slowly that it does seem as if the sun was standing still for awhile. From experience I know that we won't notice for a bit and then in a few weeks someone will say, "I think the days are getting longer!" I will be glad for it. I'm not much good after dark. My inner clock and my eyes tell me that day is done and nothing is else is going to be accomplished now.
In the summer we have the most dramatic sunsets here right over the water from our chairs on the porch or deck. But as the sun has moved steadily south in its autumnal path, the sunsets have disappeared behind a pine woods to the north. In exchange we get delicate sunrises that we never see in summer.
Yesterday morning the sky was the softest pink over a bank of gray fog that lingered over the water. The color, and the whole sky scene, was repeated by the motionless water.
This morning unusual cloud layers were reflected in equally tranquil water but all was gray and wintery.
My Beloved is golfIng this morning with his son and son-in-law while I'm baking. Tonight on the longest night of the year we will make the rounds of neighbors on our little road and distribute some Christmas calories and good cheer and brighten up the longest night. A new tradition.
"From out of the darkness . , .
light and hope return."