Thursday, December 21, 2017


Happy Winter Solstice to all my friends here in the blogoverse. In honor of the day, here is an essay I wanted to share with you from my favorite nature writer, Hal Borland. The return of the light is a miracle everyone can appreciate.

December 20th and 21st

Winter Solstice

"The year achieves another Solstice as the great wheel of time turns with the Earth and the seasons. Winter, by the calendar, begins in mid-morning today, though the year's shortest days have been upon us for almost a week. The Solstice is a marker on the charts, but Winter abides by its own schedule of wind and weather.

Since man was first aware of the changing seasons, the Winter Solstice has been occasion for awe and wonder and a challenge of faith. Hope and belief are easy in a warm, green world, but when the cold days come and the sun edges farther and farther South, cutting a constantly smaller arc across the sky, the imminence of utter darkness and oblivion seems at hand. Then the sun stands still. The turn comes. The crisis passes and the sun slowly climbs the sky once more, reaching toward another Spring, another Summer.

It was, and still is, an annual miracle. Hope and belief were, and still are, once more justified.

There is order in the Universe. The seasons still march in their eternal sequence, and Winter is neither pause nor punishment, but a part of the year's whole. Ice and stormy wind are inevitabilities, but they pass even as the leaf and the blossom, equally inevitable in their own season, ripen and are gone.

The year has its own fourfold truth, indelibly marked on the turning Earth. Now we know it whole for another turn of the great wheel. The cold verity of Winter completes the cycle."

Hal Borland
"Twelve Moons of the Year"
December 1963

Winter solstice 2017 in Northern Hemisphere will be at 11:28 AM on Thursday, December 21st (Eastern Time)


  1. Beautiful piece of writing.
    Happy Solstice to you, Jennifer!

  2. I've been counting the days to Solstice, Jennifer! I so miss the daylight when I come home from work, and even on weekends, one has to make sure to get out in time so as to catch at least some daylight. Also, it has been too cold and/or too wet for me to go running, or even on my beloved long walks, and I miss it. But of course I know it will all be back in a few months, and hopefully, during the first week in January when I'll be off work, there will be occasion for some nice long walks with O.K.

    As for the four seasons, I like them all and the way they offer continuity and change at the same time. There are plenty of places on Earth where people have no seasons, or less pronounced ones. I would not want to move to a place like that, having been used to seasons all my life.

  3. The return of the light. The core of our being. Happy Solstice to you.

  4. An annual miracle - indeed it is. Happy Solstice.

  5. I’ve been counting the days too. I hadn’t given thought that these short days aren’t a punishment. I hadn’t put a direct thought to it being a punishment exactly but I think I have felt it was.
    Happy Solstice!

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  7. Thank you for sharing Hal Borland's words. They chime with the blogpost I wrote today. Hal Borland is very good at articulating his appreciation of the natural world.

  8. This morning Friday 22 December at 5.28am it was the Summer solstice here in New Zealand. The longest day and the shortest night of the year. And so the world goes round.

  9. That was very interesting.
    Happy Solstice Jennifer!
    Greetings Maria x