2020 feels like the year of the “dark before the dawn.” Today, Monday, December 21, 2020, is the winter solstice, the shortest, darkest day of the year. This twice-yearly occurrence happens when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun, once in each hemisphere, and signals the start of the astrological winter.
Fire and light are traditional symbols of the winter solstice. My inner romantic pyromaniac is awakened at the thought of gathering around a fire, candle flames flickering, and the magic and glow as the warmth and light bounce about.
I am fond of the darkness and I appreci+he sun appears to stand still right before it reverses direction. The Latins created the idea of the solstice and from the words sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still.)
There is something poignant about the moment we standstill before we make a change. That moment when we can look back, and ahead, knowing that things will be different. The winter solstice marks the earth’s rebirth and celebrates our ability to regenerate, regroup, and emerge with new awareness, strength, and resolve.
What’s frustrating (and ironic) is that the change is slow. In fact, after the solstice, the sun is so low that the earth continues to cool, and the days get colder, even with the expanding daylight. In January, each day gains about 90 seconds. In February, about two and a half minutes, and in March through June, two more minutes of daylight per day.
Then come spring, a vaccine, and hope.
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