In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan/earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone . . . .
—Christina Georgina Rossetti, In the Bleak Midwinter
Indeed. Today, the Winter Solstice, although identified now as the first day of winter, actually marks the point of midwinter. The earth is at its darkest for the longest today, and, perhaps fittingly, we are in the grips of a cold snap on the homestead.
Our beach rocks, rarely hospitable at any time of year, are thickly coated with frozen sea spray. Waves batter the beach. The clear sky hangs pale blue above us; the few clouds are swept and shredded by high altitude winds. We are ice bound. Today the sun will appear briefly, then disappear. Darkness and cold will hold sway.
How I love it!
It’s not just the sense of enduring something difficult. I revel in the darkness, the cold, the relative hardship. It throws the comforts of home and the season into sharper relief.
Ironically, this makes me think of the night of the Winter Solstice as the appropriate time to mark the event, rather than when the sun reaches its zenith. I’ve got it all backward, considering the darkness more meaningful than the light.
I make no apologies. The way I look at, find your joy where you can. Happy Solstice, Glad Yule, and Merry Christmas!