The Shortest Day of the Year

The  the Winter Solstice  officially occured at approximately 6:37 this evening.  Today, there has been less light and more  darkness than any other day in the calendar year. The landscape is sere, a cold wind blows, and the prospect of three months of winter is daunting. A lunar eclipse actually took place last night bringing these two events close together for the first time in several hundred years.  Across cultures, people are burning candles, lighting fires, turning on lights, draping their Christmas trees with sparkly balls and lights, all to stave off the darkness, to counter the extended hours of darkness and gloom.

Winter Solstice

My divorce, the severing of fifteen years of marriage, took place on December 21 many years ago.  “Your marriage is hereby dissolved,” the judge said, looking bored.  To me, it shattered, not gently dissolved like salt in water. Dissolved was too gentle a word. Instead of the Judge’s mellow tones, he should have  sounded a banshee scream to announce the event, a screech, a wail….so cacaphonous, so violent, so primitive that those who heard it shuddered in terror,  covered their ears and slammed shut their eyes. That was the longest night and the shortest day of my life. But spring did come again.

HAIKU by Basho
Turn this way, 
I also am lonely 
This evening of winter. 

It snowed and snowed, the whole world over, Snow swept the world from end to end. A candle burned on the table; A candle burned.
Boris Pasternak                                                                                                    

One kind word can warm three winter months.
Japanese proverb

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Categories: observations

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