And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
On this longest night of the year, I lit a single small candle in our little caravan. There is no stately Christmas tree with fairy lights to gaze upon, just a small potted pine with a single strand of lights standing outside the door. A different Winter Solstice it is, and yet so much the same. With the lighting of our candle I embraced winter, welcomed the return of the light, and lifted a prayer for peace.
Namaste, dear people. Peace to you.