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 21, 2006

Winter Solstice

Solstice Daybreak

Today is Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of winter.

Frosty Garden

The sun is at it's lowest point in the sky and for a few days appears to remain in the same place before it begins to climb and the hours of daylight start to increase once more. The word solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium which translates as 'sun standing still' - sol means sun and the verb sistere means to stand still. It is the great winter festival marking the rebirth of the sun and the twelve days of Yule beginning on December 25th were days of feasting celebrating this. We move into the long, slow, restful days of winter now - I wish you all health and happiness as the circle of the year begins once more.

Solstice Sunrise


Anonymous said...

I love the frosty view of your winter garden.Have you had the nasty foggy weather that I have been hearing about, where you are..?

Anonymous said...

Wishing you a Yule Tidings to you and Your Family.

Rowan said...

The fog is in the south east around Heathrow Sheila - we are in the North Midlands and have had a beautiful bright,frosty day with sunshine and blue skies. A perfect winter day in fact.

Anonymous said...

Rowan! These photos are Great! I so love Winter! I'm snowed in here in Colorado.

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful post. The photos are are lovely but I especially like the last one. It has a mystical quality about it.

rel said...

Thanks for reminding me of Winter solstice. I think it starts just after midnight tonight (22nd Dec.)?

Your pics a beautiful..I enjoyed the frosty garden one the best.

Merry Christmas my dear friend, to you and all your family. And a happy New Year too.
As Charles Dickens might say: God bless us..every-one.

Anonymous said...

Happy Solstice. We've had a beautiful sunny day here, so it didn't feel much like the darkest day of the year.

Jeanne said...

Your photos are beautiful, as always.
Sending you a solstice {{hug}},

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Lovely frosty pictures!

A very happy Christmas to you and yours, Rowan.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Rowan! We're foggy in N Warks, but I like it! I just wanted to ask if you saw "A Tudor Feast" last night?

Anyway, have a blessed Christmas ...or a cool Yule.

VintagePretty said...

It's been beautifully clear here - no fog or anything. Just sunny and cold! I feel for the poor people stuck at Heathrow though.

It's our 6 month anniversary too - I can't believe how quickly it has gone, married life is flying by!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely view of the winter solstice where you are.It looks quite magical. Such meaningful photos. Wishing you a Happy Christmas and peaceful holiday season.

Anonymous said...

I never knew the meaning of the word solstice so this is a very interesting post. My daughter was born on this day - the darkest day of the year - and she is such a bright spot in my life. Merry Christmas!

Kelli said...

Such wonderful pictures, Rowan! Happy Winter to you and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

If you can't have a White Christmas, then a good frosty one would do!! I love the wreath you made its gorgeous, you are right there are lots of berries on the holly. Does that mean a hard winter????

Anonymous said...

Lovely frosty pictures. I love the meaning behind all the Soltices.
Have a wonderful and Merry Christmas and the best New Year, Rowan!


Anonymous said...

Rowan, I loved your photos of the solstice sunrise and your garden of frost - the winter solstice is one of my favorite moments in the whole turning year, a brief interval of stillness when the world stands quietly and then begins to move back along the wheel in the opposite direction ,heralding longer days and more sunlight. Belated solstice blessings to you, my friend. Cate

Anonymous said...

very beautiful pictures. what a lovely blog you have.

rel said...

Blessings of the season to you and your wonderful family.
Your friendship is a gift I treasure!

Anonymous said...

What lovely Solstice photos . . . it's so wonderful to see the same sun returning there, as it is here. Thank you for visiting my blog too -- we have a mutual friend in Cate! I'm looking forward to visiting your blog more often.
Blessings of the New Year to you!