The sunrise over one of our orchards and the dog houses at the winter solstice time of the year. The long light angles of a faraway sun cast a reddish glow across the deep snow.
What we celebrate this time of year is much older than the birth of Christianity. The need to mark the solstice is locked in our primal psyches by the hundreds of thousands of years our species has spent in the higher latitudes where light disappears as the days shorten in winter. The long, cold nights were once filled with hungry predators happy to put human on the menu. The sun with its life-giving warmth pulled away, leaving withered and leafless plants and endless ice and frost. A frightening time when the best humans could do was look to the future and hope for the swift return of the sun.
Evidence exists that mankind made tools to gauge this shortest day of the year so all could breathe a sigh of relief. The worst was at it’s peak, the sun and its warmth would now start the return. Is that not something to celebrate?