Winter Solstice, 2001
It is the longest night. It is the shortest,
darkest day. Time has to pause while the sun stills,
while the earth waits to draw her next breath, frozen
moment when we imagine nothing can help,
that we’ll be caught in this darkness forever:
and so we light candles, our fragile signals
of need — we carol together, we listen,
we hear fleeting through clouds a whir of white wing,
hear deep down under the hard black shell of soil,
in some burrow’s cozy corridor, the brown-
furred creature of our future turn in her sleep.
– Ann Silsbee
Today is the winter solstice. It’s been fifteen years since my mother wrote this poem. We live in a different world.
May this extraordinarily turbulent astronomical year come to a restful end.
May the next, with lengthening days beginning today, bring new light and possibilities. Stay present. Keep breathing. Be the future you intend.
And, for a different perspective on the Sun’s apparent movements in the sky, see this stunning video from APOD!