The creeping darkness ended this morning at 8:58 MT. “Creeping darkness” is a phrase I created, so unless you read this blog, it’s a term you probably haven’t heard of before. The correct term, of course, is “winter solstice.”
For the past six months, ever since the summer solstice, darkness has been creeping into our days and stealing our light. Today we have reached the end. Tomorrow the light begins to grow, but only in the northern hemisphere. Down under, they begin a time of creeping darkness.
“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 turned on my bowls of light and toasted the sun when the morning clouds drifted away and showed me Sol’s shining face.
Whatever hemisphere you live in, I wish you a day filled with light and lightness of being.
What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?
A fun book for not-so-fun times.
Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.
December 21, 2021 at 4:49 pm
Beautiful celebration. Have you remarked from 13 December that sun has risen late and has set up late !
For the solidarity I put two lanterns exterior of my front door.
December 21, 2021 at 7:42 pm
I’m glad you put out your lanterns. Almost as if we were celebrating together.
December 21, 2021 at 7:43 pm
The end of creeping darkness is certainly something to celebrate.
I’ve been getting rid of a lot of stuff in the house recently in preparation for possible downsizing. It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates over the course of 40+ years. A lot is just stuff – easy to donate or toss, but it seems like every drawer, box, closet, or bag has something else to tug me back to a life that doesn’t exist any more. Today it was a silly stuffed Snoopy I gave my late wife our first Christmas together. Too big to keep, too old to donate, so off he goes to the landfill. It’s silly, but still hard to let go. Maybe a end to the creeping darkness, and a reason to celebrate the light to come.
December 21, 2021 at 9:10 pm
Too many things are infused with memories and no, it’s not silly that it’s hard to let go. Each of the things that are removed from a life that was once shared is one more connection, no matter how tenuous, that is broken.
I had to do my downsizing in stages. Each time, I got rid of the things I could bear to part with, and gradually, I was able to get rid of more stuff. First, when I had to move out of our home. Next when I had to move out of my dad’s house. Next when I needed to start clearing out my storage unit in preparation for a move. And there are still things that should be gotten rid of, but since I am not planning a move, and since there is a place for everything, I’m just letting the rest of the emotions seep away.