Things of Winter Beauty and Wonder: Advent Day Twenty One

Day Twenty One

Winter Solstice

The winter solstice this year falls tomorrow (22nd of December), and is the shortest day of the year. The date on which the Solstice falls is slightly variable, from the 20th to the 23rd though it is rare for it to fall on the 20th or the 23rd (there’s complicated reasons why it varies and I’m scared of getting the explanation wrong and looking stupid, so do look it up). The word solstice comes from Latin, meaning the sun stands still, and that is what happens. For a few days, everything is held in this strange holding pattern before the days begin lengthening again. For me, there is a huge relief in this.

Sunrise on the winter solstice is a powerfully moving moment; the reality of watching it can be cold, wet and somewhat of a damp squib if you expect magical rays and invisible choirs.

I wrote the following poem last year and it sums up the feeling of expectancy and emptiness that I experience at this time of year:

Hallowed hollow

I will hold a space

A dark space

An empty place

A hallowed hollow,

Cupped between hands

Hidden between breaths

Lost between heartbeats

Harrowed from soul-falls.

I will hold a space

Without prayer

Without hope

Without desire.

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4 thoughts on “Things of Winter Beauty and Wonder: Advent Day Twenty One

  1. I find the link between the natural world’s cessation for three days, and the mythology of death’s three day interlude before burial is appropriate, (and three days before resurrection) is a potent reflection of our ‘mirroring’ as individuals. You obviously feel it more consciously than most.

  2. A thoughtful and well written post, as always. Thank you.

    In quantum scale physics an empty space contains literal potential, the base zero-point energy can spontaneously create. Heck the ultimate in empty, the state before the Big Bang, ended up as >everything<! So to extrapolate from quantum science to meet your metaphor, you carry everything in that emptiness, all manner of things ready to be shaped in the New Year.

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