Saturday, December 19, 2020

Winter Solstice 2020

A few years ago a friend of mine shared Susan Cooper's poem "The Shortest Day" on Winter Solstice. Since I shared it on my Facebook page, it comes up every year, and it strikes me annually of its beauty. Last year, during Winter Solstice, we were in the mountains of Western Maryland and spent the day in winter wonderland, making it even more strikingly beautiful. In fact, this photo is the sunrise following up 2019's shortest day.

"The Shortest Day" 
by Susan Cooper

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, reveling.
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.

For more about Susan Cooper, this interview with WTVF Virginia Public Radio from December 21, 2019 is very good. It details the poem she wrote in the 1970s, the inspiration of light versus dark, and the picture book it ultimately became in the fall of 2019.

Have a lovely Winter Solstice this December 21st.

Photo from my camera, book image from from 

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