Winter Solstice: The Shortest Day
A cliche is a well-worn phrase that’s all too familiar and generally avoided when writing, but cliches are much like old, comfortable, slightly smelly shoes. Occasionally, it just feels good to take them out and wear them again. So, I’ve convinced myself that beginning with a cliche is okay.
Timing is everything: that’s my cliche. In that vein I’d like to think a little about the winter solstice or the shortest day of the year. It’s upon us this Sunday, December 21. Here’s a brief description from Wikipedia:
“More evident from high latitudes, a hemisphere’s winter solstice occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest. The winter solstice itself lasts only a moment in time, so other terms are used for the day on which it occurs, such as “midwinter”, or “the shortest day”. For the same reason, it should not be confused with “the first day of winter” or “the start of winter” (Lidong in the East Asian calendars). The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. ”
Typically called the first day of winter by most people including me, this day conjures up sensations of gray, dreary, and cold like a blanket of enveloping cloud over the earth.
Throughout the world, this date is symbolic of new beginnings, hope, and the renewal of more light coming into the world. How perfectly beautiful is the science of astronomy, the timing of hemispheric light to correspond with the hemispheric ebb and flow timing of our lives. We have light sunny periods and we have dark, heavy days which come and go in their own cycle. The winter solstice is the ray of hope we need after long dark months of short days, early darkness, hovering negative vibs. An energy begins to build on December 22 with each passing day’s grabbing of just minutes of extra daylight until we move to June 21 for the summer solstice. It’s a perfectly rhythmic cycle.
I’ve noted that the worst events in my life have occurred in November, the month of drab, dark, dank and dismal. By the time December 21 arrives, I am more than ready for the movement toward longer days to emerge. I am dreaming of warmth hitting my body from the sun’s rays, of Paris bridges in the summer twilight, of Destin beaches white with sparkling sand, of the ninth hole on my golf course, of patio mornings with the hummingbirds.
Timing is everything in God’s synchonized world. We don’t have to stay in the dark forever and hope is right beside us with each passing day that moves us ever so gently toward the light.
Who doesn’t believe in science? God is standing at the center of it all, majestic, intelligent, masterful.
Happy Winter Solstice!