Monday, December 21, 2015

The Magic of Winter Solstice

Today is one of those special days that often gets lost in the hustle of the holidays, but it's nice to pause on what is the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It reminds me of the many lovely winter solstice celebrations that my son's piano teacher and her charming German husband Ewold held in their home. We were a part of these recitals for many years and what great memories. After the kid's pieces were played they served homemade stollen, punch and Evold would read a poem aloud. It was such a simple gathering yet heartfelt and made one feel these are the things that matter.

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper  is so moving and Ewold made it really come alive the way he read it. It evokes a feeling of being part of something so ancient- the passage of time, seasons and the gathering together with dear ones at the year's end. It's magical to me and should be read at a party of friends or family. Instead of enduring these dark short days perhaps we should revel in the closing of a year and look forward to a new one.

The Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us — Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

Happy Winter Solstice everyone.


Photos of my home and top Los Gatos tree lighting 2015.


    1. I love Winter Solstice Kim. It's also encouraging to know that the evenings will start gradually getting lighter and lighter (even if it is only by a few minutes each time ;-)
      Have a lovely Christmas Kim.

      1. Vanessa I know it's good to know we are heading out of the dark, even just a little! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas too.

    2. Beautiful shot of that TREE.............adore your wreath...............MERRY CHRISTMAS!!XO

    3. This is such a heartwarming post, Kim. It evokes the timelessness of Christmas in purest form. Your decorations are so beautiful. I remember one of my first dates with Scott was on a winter's solstice. We met for dinner in Williams half-way between our homes. I'll never forget that special evening--the shortest day of the year.
      I'm just catching up following a busy, festive season. We are off to celebrate Christmas 2 with my family in Lincoln today.
      Wishing you a very happy 2016 dear Kim!
      xx, Heather

    4. An English teacher always loves the addition of a poem! Happy winter solstice! See you soon for coffee! YAY!


    5. Kim what a wondrous poem, and the images so beautiful, fine memories abound!!

      The Arts by Karena
      Life Lessons: So Honored

    6. Lovely, this post is like a haiku, so pretty. I know what you mean. We often spent the holidays with our Swedish friends and there was no loads of stuff and loads of different foods (I tend to overdo and overcater everything) just a few simple, traditional things, warm wine and fruit mince pies and some savoury dishes and it was really memorable.