Tonight, the longest night of the year gives birth to the return of the Sun in our part of the planet. The infant Sun is tended by Mother Nature, who, busy with her babe, lets the world fend for itself with all she's provided the rest of the year. It's the beginning of Winter here, where the white of the snow will help make days bright until Spring brings us light and warmth again.
Some religions celebrate it as the Birth of the Sun King or the Oak King, some as simply the turn of the Wheel of theYear. Yule is the Festival of Light to me. Here's a nice summary, for the curious:
I have traditions, some taught, some adapted, some straight out of Christmas traditions. The tree must be up by St. Lucia's Day, the first day of the coming of the light. An advent, if you will. From then until the Solstice (Yule), decorations go up, lights are added and they're all lit on the Solstice night. What you don't have done by the Solstice must be left undone, itself a reminder of preparing for the barren season and the consequences of inaction. Symbols of light and survival, celebration and silliness, the importance of laughter in the darkness, kindness and charity for those not so well-prepared, are all part of Yule. Hope and faith are in there, too. Hope that the Great Good (as represented by the Sun) will come back, faith that it always has before and will return this time as it always does. Reassurance that nothing, good or bad, lasts forever.
In this darkest night of the year, I wish us all light. In these uncertain times, I wish reassurance. And in the sadness, joy.
Solstice happens at 12:30 a.m. EST tonight. Happy Solstice, fellow babies. ;)
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