Saturday, December 21, 2013

Welcome Winter Solstice

Celebrating the Winter Solstice
The Shortest Day                                                                               
by Susan Cooper
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died

And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world

Came people singing, dancing,

To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;

They hung their homes with evergreen;

They burned beseeching fires all night long

To keep the year alive.

And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake

They shouted, revelling.

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them

Echoing behind us - listen!

All the long echoes, sing the same delight, 

This Shortest Day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, feast, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.

And now so do we, here, now,

This year and every year.”
Winter officially arrives today - Saturday, December 21 - although most of the country has already experienced its ferocity. The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, was celebrated at my granddaughter’s preschool.  
Cold temperatures and long, dark nights characterize this time of year. But with every cloud there is a silver lining. And with the onset of winter it is that every day the amount of time suffused in daylight gets a little bit longer.
I cannot wait until darkness does NOT arrive before 5:00 p.m.
…when I feel tired, as if bedtime is almost here.
…when going out to dinner before darkness descends and the roads ice over means partaking of the early bird special.
…when dragging myself out of bed to attend exercise class in the morning no longer requires turning on the car lights and driving to the gym in darkness.
…when dressing to go outside does not necessitate layers of clothing and cold weather accessories.
…when holiday lights are not needed to brighten the blackness. 
The preschoolers and their parents walked in a procession, forming a circle and singing "This Little Light of Mine Let It Shine". It was a wonderful way to celebrate the shortest day of the year and celebrate the holiday season without specific religious motifs. 
The song "This Little Light of Mine" has been sung by many artists, among them Bruce Springsteen. Enjoy his version here.


  1. Thanks for giving me a moment of reflection before I storm the grocery store for Christmas food!

  2. Merry Christmas and Happy Solstice to you, Meryl! I love your shivery cold picture of the celebration. :-)

  3. As we return to the light we discover the ancients knew a thing or two. Dianne

  4. As we return to the light we discover the ancients knew a thing or two. Dianne

  5. We will attend our first winter solstice celebration tonight.

  6. Happy Solstice!

    Typical early winter day here in FL. It got up to 80, but it was breezy so of course it felt cooler than that.

  7. We celebrated by grilling steaks on the BBQ. We're not going to let a little snow and darkness keep us from grilled meat!