Monday, 21 December 2009

In the bleak mid-winter...

Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. We are right, slap, bang in the middle of winter. Living with an archaeologist I have become more aware of the significance of this time. In Ireland we have the Neolithic site Newgrange (fascinating place to visit), a place where Andrew took me in our courting years to experience (albeit through the medium of electric lighting) how this was a place devoted to the celebration of the Winter Solistice. I urge you to follow the links and learn more about this place.

Becoming more connected with the earth, the seasons and the weather, I have noticed the vital importance of these celebrations. Many years ago I would not be sitting here with electric lighting, warm oil-fired radiators in a very soft sofa with a laptop! So I think of why and if these days are important to us now. I think they are. We still feel the terrible pull of winter's grasp, dragging us into the depths of coldness, bad weather and darkness; our gardens and allotments can't be tended to as much, most wonderful vegetables will not grow in these conditions and we rarely get the Vitimain D we require from the sun.

So, no I didn't get up before dawn to witness the solistice sun rise and I was in the shower over the sun set but I have had my own little celebration of this, the shortest day of the year ~ I'm in the middle of gingerbreadmen making. Tomorrow, my friends, the days offically start to get longer, spring is on her way and with that in mind I am happier, more ready to conquer the Christmas period and all its madness, ready to plan ahead and think of the rebirth of my allotment and the growing of seeds.

This could be a day of real depression and oppression - there has hardly been any day light. But instead it heralds the start of a new dawn. That's worth celebrating! x


  1. I know so many people that are affected by the shorter days (including myself) but I have noticed that since starting gardening I am more appreciative of the seasons and the lack of daylight doesn't affect me quite as much as it used to although I am too celebrating the herald of the longer days!

    Hurrah for the winter solstice!

  2. Carrie girl ! .. I wonder some times too how I could possibly survive a life without all of these conveniences .. makes me shudder inside ? LOL
    Yes .. that connection to the earth that I think as gardeners we feel much more than people who just take and don't give to the earth. I think we should be proud and happy we are a special breed that does "look, listen and feel" the earth's influences, and the other elements that truly impacts our lives .. and be thankful our ancestors survived it all so well to bring us here today ? LOL
    .. A NEW start has begun : )

  3. I Carrie, just popping by to say have yourselves A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS I hope you and Andrew and your family have a wonderful time. It will soon be time to start planting and growing.
    Maureen x

  4. Carrie a lovely post full of promises to come.

  5. I always count down to the winter solstice and feel a sense of relief when it finally arrives. I'm so affected by the lack of light and feel like I'm finally on the other side of things when the days start getting longer. I wish I could be an early bird and get up with the sunrise too, but the shorter days make me lethargic and I tend to sleep in and then like you by the time I get the energy up to get moving again the sun sets and I'm in the shower... ughh! Thanks for the post... I really connected to it.


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