It’s winter solstice. Here’s how the dictionary defines this shortest day of the year:
1. the middle of winter
2. the period of the winter solstice, on or about December 22 in the Northern Hemisphere
The December solstice marks the ‘turning of the sun’, the signal for the days to slowly get longer. From this mid-winter day, the season begins to move toward its end.
The haunting poem\hymn, In the Bleak Midwinter, by Christina Rosetti, always comes to mind at this time.
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
I prefer to think of midwinter as ‘deep’ instead, because it isn’t all ‘bleak’, as in ‘cold and unfriendly with no pleasant features, no hope’. I found these bright and peaceful spots in my yard at this pivotal point in the winter. They seem to promise the hope for the New Year that we all long for!