Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Winter Solstice!


So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!"

- Susan Cooper, The Shortest Day

These are still the most perfect words for the celebration of Winter Solstice that I've ever found so here they are again:) I have been so busy recently with preparations for the winter festival and life in general that I'm afraid that the blog has taken a back seat. My son and his family are over from South Africa and for the first time in three years they will be spending the holiday season with us so it's a very special one for us. Hopefully in January I shall have more time and will be back to posting regularly. Meanwhile I wish you all a very Happy Winter Solstice!


Victoria said...

Yay Rowan, what a beautiful post..gorgeous image and beautiful poetic words..magical..perfect for this special time! Wishing you a magical holiday season! Blessings and Light of Winter Solstice!

Jan said...

Beautiful poem. Sounds like a wonderful holiday season for you-enjoy!

Antonia said...

As Victoria and Jan have said - beautiful. I celebrate Christmas - and the Solstice is a big part of that for me. Blessings and Light, and may "promises awaken" for you too.

Diane said...

Beautiful Rowan. Enjoy the precious time with your family xxxxx

Patricia said...

Lovely to see you again Rowan, have missed you. The poem is absolutely beautiful, thank you for sharing it. Have a wonderful time with your family. Merry Christmas.
Patricia x

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Have a wonderful time with your family, i'm sure you will!
Blessings, Lynda xx

jill said...

Lovely Rowen hope you have a lovely time xx

val's alentejo said...

Your poems always add such a flair to your posts Rowan.
A lovely post. love the photo of christmas past.!
How wonderful to have your son from South Africa with you... Where does he live in S.A !
Have a wonderful christmas.
Thanks for blogging with me.. its been a good year.
until 2013..with more news and lots of stuff to share.
best wishes

Dog Trot Farm said...

Merry Christmas Rowan. Have a lovely holiday, I'm so happy to read your son and his family will be sharing it with you. Best wishes for the New Year, greetings from Maine, Julie.

elaine rickett said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful poem - sounds like you will have a wonderful Christmas with your family - nice to see you posting agin - you have been sorely missed.

WOL said...

May your holidays be rich with blessings for you and those you hold dear.

Mac n' Janet said...

Merry Christmas Rowan, I know how special it is to have our children home for the holidays. Enjoy, looking forward to reading you more in the new year.

Bovey Belle said...

How wonderful your son and his family will be home from SA. Just perfect for you.

That is just the most beautiful poem and picture to accompany it. We brought home our bit of "greenwood" today and for once I got to decorate it myself. Memories of my children clamoring to do it, and I just got to "unChristmas" it in the New Year!

Merry Christmas and I hope this was a special Solstice Day for you.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Lovely. Your posts always are a delight to read and to see.

I hope your holiday with family is absolutely the best ever!!

Jessica Cangiano said...

This poem is so lovely - just the right now to cap off the first evening of the first day of winter with. Thank you very much for sharing it, dear Rowan.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you and your family the merriest of holiday seasons.

♥ Jessica

Heather Gray said...

Rowan, just found your blog while trying to find info on my many-X great GM Jane Bishop who was born in 1570 in Boxted. There aren't many internet sites detailing the history around Boxted. You and I share many interests (I live in Pennsylvania but lived in Oxfordshire for 3 years as a child) and I look forward to reading lots of your past posts! Happy Yule!