June 21 has just passed and here come the light!! More and more light each day.
I reflect a little or perhaps despair when we hit December 21 or 22 with the awareness day light hours are going to start shrinking, conversely I like June 21 when I know it is only going to get better with longer daylight!
Like many of you I get up early to train… getting up just after 5 and out for a run or getting on the water for a paddle before 6am in pitch black and single digit temperatures can be very hard some mornings! It is the earth’s way of saying slow down…listen to the seasons… plenty of people are sick at this time and many of the sick have ignored the earth and its seasons at their peril!
My consideration with sunlight hours in a nutshell is training motivation and keeping warm!
Civilizations through history and notably Pagan societies celebrated this event for its importance to our survival. It is very easy to be tucked away in a global city where we eat bananas, mangoes and apples all year round from all parts of the globe in defiance of the earths will.
Sydney Observatory explains the astronomy of what’s happening. “Winter solstice is when the sun is at its most northerly point on its path through the sky. The solstice is a natural turning point in the year. Historically it was a time of new beginnings, of rebirth and revival. From now on the days will lengthen and the warmth of summer is on its way.”
Elkie White of Ferntree Gully is a Druid. She founded the Melbourne branch of OBOD (the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids) in 1998 and is a retired Steiner schoolteacher. Winter solstice for her is all about the return of the light. In pre-Christian times, when druidry emerged, the end of winter meant a greater chance of survival because it meant more light and more heat.
White and about a dozen friends will go into the Dandenong Ranges National Park at night on Tuesday to perform a ritual where they light candles to symbolise the changing of the season and the beginning of new hope.