Happy End of the Creeping Darkness!

20171214_195354-1.jpgThe creeping darkness will end this evening at 9:19 pm MT. “Creeping darkness” is a phrase I created, which is probably why you haven’t heard of it before.  I have a hard time with this time of year and the way the darkness comes earlier and earlier, stealing light from my days, and so “end of the creeping darkness” seems a perfect name for this particular event. The correct term, of course, is “winter solstice.”

“Solstice” comes from two Latin words, sol meaning “sun” and sistere meaning “stationary” because on this day, in the northern hemisphere, the sun seems to stand still, as if garnering it’s strength to fight back the darkness.

Technically, the winter solstice marks the moment when there is a 23.5-degree tilt in Earth’s axis and the North Pole is at its furthest point from the sun — from here on, the days will get longer, gaining us an additional 6 and 1/2 hours of sunlight per day by June 21st when the days begin to get shorter again. (This is reversed in the southern hemisphere, so today those down under will be celebrating their summer solstice.)

Though neo-pagans have claimed the solstice for their own, this is one of those natural holidays (holy days) that we all should be celebrating. The end of the lengthening nights. The triumph of light over darkness. We don’t even need the metaphors of light=good and dark=bad to find reason to celebrate this day. It’s simply a day of stillness, of hope. A day to give thanks for the promise that even in our darkest hour, light will return.

My celebration will be simple. I’ll turn on my bowls of light and go outside to toast the pale winter sun with sparking cider. Technically, I will be toasting the moon since the sun will have set hours before, but the sun won’t care. It will be shining brightly in the southern hemisphere, and will return to this part of globe tomorrow with greater strength.

Wishing you a bright and hopeful end of the creeping darkness.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

6 Responses to “Happy End of the Creeping Darkness!”

  1. Sarah's Attic of Treasures Says:

    I have always loved this season of darkness. I thrive in the dark . Sending hugs and sunlight your way.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Interesting. I must admit, now that I have a house of my own, I haven’t minded the darkness as much. I hunker down and read.

      Thanks for the hugs and sunlight! I don’t get enough of either. Happy dark days still to come.

  2. rodmarsden Says:

    In Australia we have the longest day of the year and we pray for rain to put out the bush fires. I suppose up north Christmas is celebrated when it is celebrated as a kind of promise that the spring will eventually come ending the cold and the earth will be renewed once more. Cider would be reminiscent of spring.

  3. Judy Galyon Says:

    I’m with you, ready for some more light! I was hoping to see the sun today, but the clouds had their way as the rain
    is on the way in. Sun SHOULD shine here by Tues. Enjoy your lights.

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