December 20th, 2007 at 3:56 pm, usually dark on rainy days.
I was awake and wandering in the wee hours yesterday morning and noticed an almost full moon, the cold moon, lighting up the outdoors and streaming in through the unshaded windows on the west side. Stars sparkled. Frost sparkled. All looked magical after another long spell of dark dreary rainy nights, and days. The day came and was mostly clear and sunny, uplifting spirits, and inviting us out for a walk. A good thing, for the rains are back today and it promises to be a rainy green Christmas again.
December 20th, 2007 at 5:12 pm. The mountain tops look like they are on fire, while below we are in darkness. A superb solstice sign.
Tonight or very early tomorrow, here on the west coast of North America, it's the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. Now we can look forward to lengthening days, a slow easing of the winter darkness. Several communities in Vancouver celebrate with a annual winter solstice lantern festival, a nod to the ancient pagan tradition of Yule, Yulefest, Jul, Jól, Joulu and other namings.
If you are in a reasonable time zone, you can even watch the webcast of the solstice sunrise at Newgrange in Ireland! I tried last night, but could not get connected. Maybe I'll have better luck tonight if I'm up late enough.
I raise a glass of glögg to all of you, dear readers, as we look forward to light. Happy solstice!