Solstice Musings

SUBHEAD: When I read this poem, I remembered the importance of our connection to the natural world.

By Linda Pascatore on 20 December 2012 for Island Breath - 

Image above: A rural winter dawn in the North East. (

Winter Solstice is tomorrow, December 21st.  This is the shortest day of the year, and the longest night.  At Winter Solstice, the sun has reached it's southernmost point in it's path through the sky, and then turns back.  From this day on, the nights will become shorter, and the day longer.

This has been a significant spiritual as well as astronomical point through history, especially in colder climates in the northern hemisphere.  There are many Festivals of Light, across many cultures, symbolizing the hope for warmer, more fertile times in the depth of winter.  Most Christmas traditions associated with Christianity are based on earlier Solstice celebrations.

Currently, we are in a very dark time, environmentally, politically, economically, and socially.  During this Solstice time, we can visualize and hope for the future of our world.  Rather than dwelling on the darkness and negativity, we can celebrate our hope and vision for a better future.  This future can be simpler, more connected with nature, and more sustainable.

I used to live in a climate of cold, snowy winters in Western New York.  I really appreciated the Solstice celebrations of light.  We just received a poem in a Christmas letter from our good friend in Central New York State, Kathleen Morris.  When I read this poem, I remembered the importance of the connection to the natural world, rather than our artificial construct of society.  I have always found spirit and hope in nature.  I hope you enjoy the poem:

Fat, chenille frost blankets all 'round:
its startling expanse rolls toward distant woods.
Each careful step my walk a violation
of the silver hush of darkness.

Into softest pink glow at the eastern rim
the liquid orange orb gains purchase
on the lip of the world, gathers its magnificence
reveals its ineffable glory.

Every twig and heave of hillside anointed.
Blessed, each bird, bug and beast
bathed deep in potent gold stands silent,
awash in awed communion.

Yet so soon, so cynically
we turn away, return to darkness.
We attend to our comforts, their limitations,
our sullen fatigue, these wounds and fears.

We pull the door closed, blankets over heads
in our ignorance, its arrogance, its greed.
Even our strivings and good intentions are mute
in the face of the day's spectacular grace.

We shutter the dawn
as if we can afford
to take it for granted.
As if our time will never end.

See also:

The Gobbler: Mele Kalikimaka 12/21/00
The Gobbler: Haleakala Solstice 12/21/00
The Gobbler: Super Solstice 12/21/99
The Gobbler: Christmas Traditions 12/21/95
The Gobbler: Seasons Greetings 12/21/95


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