At the long-heralded End of Days for the Mayan calendar, it’s a relief to see that the good old first day of winter dawned after all.
Not only that, it’s the earliest first day of winter since 1896. If one is permitted a favorite when it comes to milestones in our planetary spin around the sun, I’d have to say mine is the winter solstice. While the summer solstice is easy to love – those long sunny days! the short span of darkness! – it also portends the shortening of days, the inevitable roll down the hill into falling leaves, then rain, then snow, and the knowledge that no matter how warm the grass under your feet while you’re dancing, winter is on the march.
Winter solstice is, of course, the opposite. The leaves are off the trees, snow is on the ground (at least where we live), the garden is usually frozen and summer is already a fading memory. Winter is on the doorstep or maybe already peeking an icicled beard inside. And then the solstice – the worst may not be past but this is the shortest day, and spring awaits. the summer – like the dawn above – is on the horizon, however distant.
So, thank you, winter solstice, for showing up so splendidly over the Alps this morning!