(December 1, 2020 ) Until winter solstice December 21st , the days will get shorter and, as one friend said, at this time of year we “begin our inexorable march towards darkness.” In central Canada, the sun rose at 7:34 am and will set at 4:43 pm. Winter solstice is on the way. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the winter solstice is the astronomical moment when the sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn, we have our shortest day and longest night in the Northern Hemisphere. Regardless of the weather, the winter solstice marks the beginning of winter. Winter solstice traditions include making an evergreen wreath, decorating a tree and celebrating in candlelight. For some, as the sun wanes, they feel a bit low. Others love the being wrapped in woollen sweater, scarves and darkness. As happens so often, the poets say it best. “The air’s getting much colder, now autumn time has come again.”
Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
“Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind” — William Shakespeare
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” — Robert Frost
One winter I lived north, alone
and effortless, dreaming myself
into the past. Perhaps, I thought,
words could replenish privacy.
“The World” – Jennifer Chang
They say that spring will come again
No one knows exactly when.
Still the sun’s a long lost friend
On the longest night of the year.
“The longest night of the year” – Mary Chapin Carpenter
all the singing is in
the tops of the trees
where the wind-bird
with its white eyes
shoves and pushes
among the branches.
Like any of us
“White Eyes” – Mary Oliver
The cold earth slept below;
Above the cold sky shone;
And all around,
With a chilling sound,
From caves of ice and fields of snow
The breath of night like death did flow
Beneath the sinking moon.
“The cold earth slept below” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
“The days are getting shorter and colder, but I ask you to remember – even as the winter comes in, there is hope and there is light.”
With special thanks to the poetryfoundation.org
‘You be the wind that makes the seed go’ May 21, 2020