And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
With profound thanks to Rams, our Lady of the Comments, who always knows the right poem for everything.
We are away, Joe and I, travelling with Katie, Carlos and the boys, trying to cement a new tradition or two, ones to replace all that fell away with my Mum’s untimely departure. I still struggle when events roll by that she was so central to, and Joe is right to try and fill those days up in other ways, and mercy but there is nothing like a trip with a three and six year old to fill up a day. Today is the solstice, one of my favourite days of the year. This day marks the return of the light, and I’m so glad it’s here, the day was so short – the sun never got high in the sky at all, it was a very grey day, and even for a Northern people, it was hard on the heart.
Then, just as the sun was setting (at 4pm, I swear it) the sun started to peek through, and it was so beautiful, I took a million pictures, and tried to take that in, and use it to carry me through the next days. They won’t be easy ones, I think, but they’ve got to be better than last year.
When I’m done sending this to you I’m going to make our annual Charitable donations. Now is that time I feel, in the deepest, darkest moments, to reach out and do something nice for the world around me. It makes me feel like I’m part of the light returning, like it’s a gesture of gratitude for all I’ve been given over the last year, and the Karma can’t hurt. This year our money is going to The Bike Rally (I am chair this year, so clearly I’m all in on that one, I think it’s really important.) and Because I am a Girl.
Here’s to the return of the light my dear ones, and hold onto your hats. Winter’s here.