The solstice is an ancient marker of endings and beginnings. The "Winter Solstice" and the start of the "winter" season, will arrive at 4:02 CST or 7:59 am PST Monday morning, December 21st. While it is our shortest day, it’s also the beginning of our days getting longer.
From now on, the sun sets each day just a little bit later. And we inch our way from darkness into more and more light, from cold winter to warm summer.
Cultures celebrate with many rituals. Fires and dancing and feasting. The Celtic people believed the sun stood still for 12 days and burned a log using the remains fo the previous year’s fire. They believed it would conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year. And why many still honor this belief by burning a ‘Yule’ log for 12 days starting on the Solstice.
Let’s say goodbye to darkness.
I think we’ve all been through enough dark, difficult, scary months this year. Even when the weather was sunny and warm, I felt the chill of fear up my spine. I worried about my children. My children’s babies. My husband. My friends. My neighbors. I waited in long lines for TP with a mask on my face. I scrubbed and sanitized and held my breath.
I held my breath again waiting for election results. I worried and fretted some more. Four years has seemed like an eternity watching and waiting for the darkness to lift.
Today as the sunrises on the shortest day of the year, I’m going to look ahead knowing each day will bring a little more light and less dark. That each day, I’m going to see fewer worried eyes around me as more and more of us get vaccinated. That each week will bring more good news and less bad. That month by month, we will be lifted up and away from fear.
So maybe this, the shortest day, will be the ending of a very bad year. And our first step toward a new beginning. When changes that have been a long time coming, will shine new light into the minds, souls and hearts of us all.