Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Midwinter Nights

I know several other bloggers have shared the following poem, but it's one of my favorites this time of year and I wanted to post it here for those who may not be familiar with it. It's from my one of my very favorite midwinter reads, Susan Cooper's "The Dark Is Rising".

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.
Welcome Yule!
~ The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper
These days and night surrounding the solstice have been appropriately dark, cold, and wet. Brooding, chilly fog has been hovering over the area every day, and it's been perfect for lighting the fireplace to chase away the chill. Holiday lights glow warmly in the gloom. Our house smells of cookies and cakes baking, spices, and oranges. We're grateful for all of our comforts and the love of family and friends during these short, dark days while we wait for the light to return.


  1. Morning frosts and warm sunny days here, with light fading at 6pm. There's a huge pile of Oak logs in the fireplace, and mince pies are being prepared on a daily basis. Lovely. Cro xx

  2. I never saw that poem before Jennifer but I like it. It speaks not of the Christian nativity or any other religion but of our brief sojourns in the world of the living. We are indeed just part of a chain. Season's greetings to you and yours from Yorkshire, England.