Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Welcome Winter


    Solstice.  Winter.  Yule.  
What do you call it?  The longest darkness, the beginning of the return of the light.  A pattern evolves for us at this time of year for family and farm.  We snuggle in at home - less outside time, lots of layers, fireplace, candles - all quiet since Spring gave us a long respite.  The cold and the dark make the house a cozy haven with more chess playing, more books, and baking.
     The farm means frosty breath clouds over the heads of the sheep, snow on the llama's back and rime around his mouth.  Rushed chores, wet gloves as buckets slosh. The whoosh of hay being thrown from the loft to the feeders below and the quiet sounds of contented animals safely enclosed in their winter pens give a sense of accomplishment and our own moment of peace.

     A poem for solstice, (copied and pasted from someone else's blog) for your reading pleasure:

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Susan Cooper