Winter solstice is impending in the northern hemisphere; it'll be about eight hours from now. I'm glad that the days will be getting longer. Figured I'd post my traditional solstice post now rather than setting it up to post closer to the actual time.

Last year I started by quoting from T. S. Eliot's “Burnt Norton” (1935); I still like that bit, so I think I'll include it here this year as well:

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 of course, as is traditional around these parts, here are 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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