This year's winter solstice will occur at 7:22 p.m. Eastern (US) Standard Time on December 21. Which is to say, around 4:30 p.m. my time on Thursday.
And not a minute too soon. I am, as usual, tired of the days getting shorter and darker. It seems likely that some of my occasional grumpiness lately has been due to winter blahs, though I haven't had them as bad this year as in some past years.
Regardless, I'm very happy that the days will start getting longer again. (With my usual apologies to y'all Southern Hemispherians.)
Doubt I'll get a chance to post at solstice time, so I'll jump the gun by a day and a half with this entry. In keeping with my recently established tradition, here's my favorite bit of Susan Cooper's poem "The Shortest Day" (thanks again, Chaos):
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
Here's another relevant verse, this one from a song by Charlie Murphy:
Light is returning,
Even though this is the darkest hour:
No one can hold back the dawn.