Today is the shortest day of the year: The Winter Solstice. And not only that, but it was ushered in by a lunar eclipse!
No matter your beliefs, this is a day of great magic. I hope you take some time to sit in silence and dream about the future, or to write and let the words take you where they will. Light a candle. Beat back the darkness.
Here is a beautiful poem written by Susan Cooper, author of The Dark is Rising series. I was told that she wrote it for the Christmas Revels (I tried to find an online reference to back this up, but failed) and it is now performed at the end of the show every single year, with the audience joining in to shout, "Welcome Yule!"
On a side note, I've been lucky enough to attend the Christmas Revels in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Revels began in 1971 (after a failed start in New York in 1957). I hope you'll go see the Christmas Revels for yourself someday, if you can!
The Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper
And 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, revelling.
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, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.