'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.