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.
— Susan Cooper, “The Shortest Day”
The Winter Solstice – one of my favorite days because it marks the end of decreasing daylight – has finally arrived. And with a small amount of optimism for more daylight (even as the dreaded Winter officially begins).
“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.”
— Charles Dickens
Meme courtesy of the Progressive Secular Humanist Examiner’s Facebook page