Sunday, 20 June 2010

Winter Solstice

I love the sun. I love sunshine. I love warm sunny days. I love the feel of the sun on my skin. I love the feel of the heat that passes through clothing to the body underneath. I love the smell of summer. I love the sounds of summer. I love being warm. Give me the heat over cold anyday.
Today (Sunday) was a cloudless sunny day. The heart of winter. Despite a cold start to the day the sun shone and warmed my body. But not only my body it warmed my soul also.
The winter solstice is on June 21 in 2010 for the Southern Hemisphere. For us Southerners the Solstice is, of course, the shortest day of the year. The day when the combination of the Earth's orbit around the Sun and the tilt of it's axis of rotation, place the Sun as far North as it travels. The Sun is actually directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer on this date.
It's a day that historically has had huge significance for our ancestors. Many ancient civilisations had rituals and myths and celebrations that revolved, date wise, around the (northern) Winter Solstice and also their Summer Solstice. I find it an amazing thing that our antecedents could map the Solstices so accurately. For Brisbane this year the length of day for the 21st is 3 seconds less than the 20th and within 1 second of the 22nd. And several thousand years ago people could measure the solstice to within a couple of days. Magnificent.
As I get older the Winter solstice has started to take on more meaning. In my youth it was just a day. It had scientific interest as being the shortest day. It had intellectual interest as the orientation of the sun and earth changed as they moved through their orbits. Nowadays it is an important date to me as the days now start to get longer and I know that the warmth and sunshine are on their way back.
I don't like winter. I am a child of the sun. I get the winter blues. I feel more alive in summer. I am more positive. I have more energy. Maybe I need to move further north in winter.
The Bludger is looking forward to the return of the sun.

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