Monday, December 21, 2009

On the Shortest Day of the Year -- 2009


Today is the shortest day of the year.

And, as happened last year, my thoughts turn to Iceland.

In the north Atlantic, on a jagged and beautiful rock, there's not much daylight these days. Midnight sun is just a memory and the amount of daylight has been leaking away as the calendar marches on. It's a strange, magical place filled with history, sagas passed down by word of mouth for generations, and a deep appreciation for the hidden world.

It's easy to feel like the darkness is closing in and can never end. (Link for Gmail subscribers.)

Ancient people knew about this and knew how important it was to celebrate the turning point. So they'd gather on Winter Solstice to feast and celebrate the return of the light. Sure, things don't get better overnight (tomorrow there will be about 10 seconds more sunlight in Iceland than today), but starting right now there will be more and more sun each day. Slowly the light will push back on the darkness, and the richness of life in all its beauty gradually comes back into view. In glorious technicolor.

So, as tempting as it is to luxuriate in the ambient darkness this time of year, things are turning around. Starting today.

So get in touch with your inner druid. Listen and you'll hear a new song starting, the tempo increasing, and the light returning. And, because this is Winter Solstice, the best way to celebrate may be to get up and dance.

And, yeah -- as amazing as it might seem, both these videos are from the same band.


Maggie said...

During the Winter months, that is one thing that brightens my day- knowing the days are gradually getting longer.


Minna said...

The first song is gorgeous. The thing is, I like the physical darkness of winter. Sun is good, but dark is better. I just need more snow, methinks.