Today is the day the sun stands still, at the southernmost point in its journey across the horizon. In my area of Alberta, the sun will rise today at 8:48 a.m., with the precise time of the solstice being 5: 04 a.m. Today we will have just 7 hours and 27 minutes of daylight. I like the winter solstice. It means we've made it through the longest darkness and things will start to get lighter again.
But this year I think I will appreciate the stillness most of all. For a few days before and after the solstice, the sun appears to rise from the same spot on the horizon every day. Things slow down, and seemingly come to a halt for a little while, at least from the point of view of we humans standing on the earth and looking at the sun.
I think we could all use some of this stillness this year - I know I can. I need a respite from the onslaught of news, a hiatus from worry. A time to just appreciate that rest is good, that there is value in sitting still and in refraining from busy-ness. In a few days, the Sun will start rising northwards again, and there will be celebrations for the birth of a Son (coincidence? I don't think so.) But for now, for today, let's just be still and be thankful for a planet to live on and a distant star to keep us warm.
As for the challenges to come to move from darkness to light in this society, I'll think about that tomorrow.
Picture courtesy this website