Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Promise Of Spring

Something felt different when I got up this morning. I couldn't pinpoint what it was. It didn't seem quite as dark at 6:30 as it usually does. Then I remembered. Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, that day when the earth's axial tilt is the farthest it can get from the sun. The result being the shortest, darkest day of the year.

Now I am all about sunlight. The more of it the better. I admit that I get the SADS in the depths of winter. So knowing that starting today, each day moving forward will give me a little more daylight feels pretty good.

In prehistoric times the Aboriginal people experienced great difficulty in Winter. They were able to notice a slight elevation in the sun's path a few days after the Solstice and so made it cause for celebration. The Pagans celebrated with Festival. They saw this day as a time of planning for the future, of renewal and rebirth. The Hopi tribe saw the sun being ready to return and give strength to budding life. There are many that suggest that Christianity chose to celebrate the birth of Christ around this time to coincide with the Solstice.

For some reason yesterday seemed a shorter and darker day than usual. Perhaps I just noticed it more than I used to. But I like the feeling of today. That tiniest of indications of lighter and brighter, with each day bringing more sunlight. The promise that Spring will return.

I think that in the midst of all the Christmas celebration over the next few days I will follow the guidance of the ancients. Take some time for introspection and think about what Spring is going to look like for me. How about you?
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