Shortest days, longest nights

November seems to have raced past and mid-winter is coming. I like thinking of our planet in position to the sun; its axial tilt and fine increments translated into minutes of daylight. An astronomical and cultural tipping point.

December can be mild and there are still leaves everywhere; hanging in trees like flags, holding their shapes in the mud.
The rivers are in full spate. It is January and February that are iron hard, when the land seems truly cold and dormant.

When the winter sun reaches your face between the hours of about 10 and 3, it feels more precious. I can imagine a direct shot, a bolt of bright light, straight to my pineal gland. I see the sun on the faces of my children and think about them making Vitamin D. The short days make me want to pack more into them, too, as if they are meted out and each hour of light is worth honouring.

We could not live without these great turnings of the year, carrying us through. Over and above our 4G and space travel and sound clouds and vaccines is the old, old need to celebrate the darkest days with light.


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