Once again we’ve arrived at midwinter’s day, and appropriately it’s snowing heavily outside at the moment. Tonight is the longest night of the year. After tonight, the days will start to get longer until the summer solstice next June. Now that I live closer to nature (in other words, in a house with only limited heating) I really appreciate why people have celebrated midwinter for thousands of years. It’s good to think that you’ve turned the corner of the year.
And the midwinter festival really is ancient. Contrary to popular belief, Stonehenge was not originally oriented on the midsummer sunrise. It was aligned on the midwinter sunset. Every northern culture has its own midwinter celebration. Our own Christmas is the descendant of one. When you think about it in these terms, the drinking and feasting and merrymaking isn’t getting away from the true meaning of Christmas – it is the true meaning of Christmas.
It doesn’t feel like a whole year since the last midwinter. This year has gone by very quickly. It doesn’t even feel like six months since I was gallivanting around Loch Ness on midsummer’s day. I guess that a lot of good things have happened since then.
It’s time to make plans for the year ahead. It’s been a few months since I’ve seen a badger, so they’re definitely on my list, but I’ve got a few more (very) amateur naturalist goals for 2010. I’ll tell you about these soon.
I hope that you have had a good year too, and I hope the coming year is even better for you. Happy winter solstice from me, Mrs BWM and baby Scarlett.