Winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is due to occur about seven hours from now. I'll be on a plane at the time, so figured I'd post my traditional solstice post now.

But this year I wanted to start with a bit from T. S. Eliot's “Burnt Norton” (1935) that feels to me somehow apropos:

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;

Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,

But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,

Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,

Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,

There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.

And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

And here's the traditional part of this post, my favorite lines from Susan Cooper's poem “The Shortest Day”:

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, feast, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.

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