5 Friends and Winter Solstice

I spent a large part of yesterday on the phone… five calls… friends I don’t see very often but I care about… friends I’ve known for many years and have kept in touch with.

I listened to their personal stories… life-limiting illnesses, hospitals and significant medication, bereavements, family concerns and upsets, mental ill-health, house moves, distant relations… each caught up in life situations that are far from easy or straight forward…  

Today’s sunrise in Lowestoft… Today has the shortest period of daylight, the darkest day. It’s the winter solstice… from ‘sol’ – sun, ‘sistere’ – to stand still. Up to today the days got shorter; from today the days get longer. Today the sun stands still.

Winter solstice is a significant day in many ancient religions. Today my Pagan friend will meet with some of his colleagues at Ness Point (a couple of miles away – the part of Britain that’s furthest East) for a religious ceremony.

Even though winter solstice is in the middle of a period of darkness our ancestors didn’t celebrate the darkness. The focus was rather on the fact that, from today, light becomes stronger and overcomes the darkness.

Winter solstice is a picture of a better future where cold turns to warmth, sadness to joy, disappointment to hope, uncertainty to confidence, sickness to health, death to life, darkness to light…

Darkness is strange… You can’t switch it on. It only exists where there’s no light. To get rid of darkness you introduce light. In the light darkness disappears.

Darkness and light are familiar themes in the Christmas narrative… prophecies about people walking in darkness seeing a great light… stars, heavenly hosts lighting up the dark sky… Jesus coming as light shining in, and not overcome by, darkness…

Musing on my 5 friends this Christmas… each, aided by faith, family and friends, facing their personal burdens and difficulties with strength and positivity. There will still be dark corners in their Christmas, but they’re seeking to focus on their light…

5 thoughts on “5 Friends and Winter Solstice

  1. Beautiful sunset pics and musings Malcomb. All the best for all His to you and yours this Christmas season and the year ahead brother.

    Be Blessed!


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