Today is the Winter Solstice. Officially, the day of the Winter Solstice is that point in the earth’s orbit when the North Pole is it’s furthest distance from the sun. The North Pole has plunged into total darkness and those of us in the Northern Hemisphere will have a day with the least amount of sunlight. For the next few weeks, our sunlight will be in short supply. Come mid-January, the minutes of sunlight will begin to slowly tick upward. By the first days of February, there will be weak daylight past 5 pm and I will celebrate because by then I will have grown weary of Winter's darkness.
For the most part, I don’t mind Winter’s cold but I do find the darkness trying. As Winter descends, I turn my face toward the sunlight, looking to soak up as much light as I can. I also admire the plants that make good use of the winter, including the rhododendrons that live on either side of my front steps, which I have the advantage of seeing every day. I take time to admire the twilight because in Winter those minutes of fading light can be splendid. I love all the seasons, largely because each one helps me to be grateful for the seasons to come. The ease of flip flops in the Summer is made that much sweeter thanks to the bitter cold of Winter. That Winter Solstice's darkness will one day be followed by June's Summer Solstice light is Mother Nature's reminder that each season must have its due for us to be complete.