The return of the light begins today at 4 pm my time which is Pacific time. It is the shortest day of the year. If you are interested in the history of solstice, check here. If, on the other hand you are interested in the science of solstice, go here. It's really very interesting to even try and fathom this "pale blue dot" that Carl Sagan called the planet Earth, with it's tilt, seasons, equator, ice caps and vast geography. The fact that I exist on it is even harder to digest.
I love this photo of DS sitting on a rock overlooking a lovely winter lake. What I love the most is the fact that he is looking towards the light. I find myself looking towards any light when I am outside because it is so dark this time of year and the days so short. But here it is mid-December and though winter has a few more months before it wears itself out, the days will be getting longer. There will more than likely be a lot of gray days ahead but they will by gray longer rather than giving up early to the dark. For me, it is a contemplative time...a time to write journals, take walks and watch nature...it amazes me that each plant, each animal, knows exactly what to do. I rarely do...I am prone to guessing...and hoping it all works out. I am optomistic.
The solstice is an optomistic time for the Earth. I never feel closer to the Earth than I do at this time of the year. I am more likely to celebrate this "return of the light" than the celebrations of Christmas or New Year's which I grew up with. For me, it is personal...I will build a small bonfire and throw in wishes for the future; I will place a smooth stone near the fire...one for each person who is missed and not with me any longer. I will go out to the garden and pick some greens for dinner and light candles...and pray for peace.