Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Solstice

This is how my world looked on Wednesday, December 19 at 3:45 p.m.

Yes, this was taken in the middle of the afternoon.

Notice, if you will, the glare of the traffic lights on the wet street, the onslaught of traffic headlights, and the dark, foreboding skies.

This is how my world looks as the winter solstice finally approaches. The shortest day of the year is almost here; on December 21, I will experience a mere 8 hours, 25 minutes, 23 seconds of daylight.

Which will be about 7 seconds less than I experienced today.

And then, on December 22, a wonderful thing will happen. The days will begin to lengthen. Each day, the sun will rise a little earlier, and set a little later. Also, the sun will seem to creep higher into the sky each day, climbing up from its current, horizon-hugging transit to rise in glory toward the center of the sky overhead.

Sadly, here in the Pacific Northwest, the sun never quite makes it to the top of the sky. Not even on the summer solstice does the sun shine straight down on the 47th parallel to the north of the equator.

But that's okay. For the next six months, as the sun slowly regains its light and power, I will rejoice. And on June 20, when I am basking in the sunshine of the longest day of the year, I will draw a deep breath and prepare once again for the oncoming gloom of the winter solstice.

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