greentapestry : "Raise Your Candles High"

Thursday, 22 December 2011

"Raise Your Candles High"

'The Shortest Day'
~ "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, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!" 
- Susan Cooper b.1935.

At 5.30am this morning well before dawn, when I was still asleep, the winter solstice occured, bringing with it the official onset of winter and the beginning of the end of those long, dark nights in the northern hemisphere. A time to rejoice and sing as we walk towards the light! My early flowering snowdrop - galanthus elwesii 'Mrs Macnamara' is nodding her head in full agreement. 


  1. It was a lovely day here. Hopefully that's a good omen for the coming year, especially after the past 12 months.

    No snowdrops here yet, but my yellow hellebore is in bud, which is something I always look forward to.

  2. Goodness my snowdrops are barely above ground at the moment.

    Happy winter solsitice

  3. We've got lighter evenings to look forward to now. I always look forward to the winter solstice for this reason.

  4. January is always my worst month. Everything feels so drab once the Christmas lights have gone but I'm just going to immerse myself in seed catalogues. At least we're heading in the right direction now. Merry Christmas, Wellywoman.

  5. I'm so glad to see the return of the light as well. Just knowing it is happening brings cheer.

    Love the snowdrop, so delicate and yet so hardy.

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  6. This is an absolutely beautiful blog. I just came across it and I love the green background and the overall look. My husband and I are planning to start our own garden in the spring in an effort to go organic, and we are also in retirement running a green business. So, your green color is inspiring. Linda

  7. "As the days grow longer, the cold gets stronger"

    Let's hope not.

    Beautiful snowdrop photo.

  8. Love the poem! We have snow today--the first of the year--but no snowdrops.

  9. Belated thanks for this beautiful piece of poetry and the winsome Mrs Macnamara. Lightened my day ;)


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