Ok I couldn’t resist. Joking aside though, we are definitely (in the Northern hemisphere) moving into the colder and darker time of the year. For those of us in England, it’s been a bit of a shock as the season has been between 4 and 6 weeks late all year, which was good news for gardeners after the lengthy winter; it was still snowing in April this year. Suddenly, the wheel of the year seems to have caught up with itself, and I have been scraping ice off the car and even off my clean washing!
As the nights become longer, I’m going to publish a series of articles on winter, including excerpts from my book, A Modern Celt. If there is an aspect of winter you would like me to discuss, please leave a comment and I’ll look at it for you. here is an excerpt abut an experience I had upon a Winter Solstice:
My most precious memories of the winter solstice all seem to be of going to a specific lakeside on the longest night. I remember it always feels later in the day than it is, because despite it only being early evening it is already pitch black, and once you move away from the roads there is only a little ambient light, depending on the weather and the moon. One year, the black, velvet sky was perfectly clear, and the moon was completely full. The lake was frozen from one bank to the other, and glittered preciously in the cold blue light from above. Bare trees stretched their limbs in a perfect frame for this scene. There was no wind, and it seemed as if the world had been frozen into a perfect postcard simply entitled “winter”. There were several of us together that year, and after our ritual celebrations we acted like children, walking out onto the ice and daring each other to go out a bit further, and pondering the strange shapes frozen within. It was simply a joyous time. Another year in exactly the same place, the same group of us finished our celebrations, only to have a thick fog follow us all the way out to the path where we left the site. That was spooky, but exhilarating. We truly felt that whatever was abroad that night had said thanks, but it’s time for you lot to go now: my turn. We took the hint, I can tell you!