If winter comes, can spring be far behind? – Percy Shelley
The Winter Solstice has arrived. This day is time of great potency. Perhaps the first day of winter is humanity’s oldest holiday. These are the days of short sunlight and long darkness. Around the world, monumental structures, such as Stonehenge, have been built to mark the solstices. Our most ancient animal self connects to these natural temporal occurrences.
When winter arrives, life becomes an endurance test. Risk becomes commonplace, as the cold winds blow and ice settles over the land. Winter storms seem all the more fierce, slashing into exposed skin like frozen shards. Each of us in a way becomes a sentinel on the watch for any early signs of far distant spring. Sharp eyes scan the horizon hoping to see a flash of green or ray of golden warmth.
Winter is the season for the fittest and most daring. Ever-seeking the slightest advantage, predators bring sharp instincts to bear. There can be few mistakes as winter wears on. The natural world brings out the balancing scale during somber wintertide. Those who are unprepared are doomed. World literature is full of stories where winters cold swallow up the indolent and unwise. These tales are passed down from the most ancient ancestors as warnings to be prepared for winter, but keep the spark of hope alive to aid in the struggle.
The time will come again when shoes are left behind and warm sand will thrill bare feet over long languid days of spring and summer. The warmth will return as it always does. We can bravely face these days of winter knowing that spring is not far behind. Happy Solstice.