Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice

ACEO Winter Solstice
2.5 x 3.5 inches
colored pencil on paper
©2008 Ann Thompson Nemcosky
Click here to buy

Today marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. I always feel a sense of gathering in during the days leading up to the Winter Solstice. A need to prepare for long, dark, and cold nights and time for reflection on the year that is now nearly past. But the Winter Solstice is also a turning point, and so it is also a time for looking toward the year to come, to plan for the future.

I find it fascinating the many ways cultures all over the world have responded to this particular turning point in the wheel of the year. We have prehistoric sites with stone circles to mark alignment with the path of the sun. Many religions consider this to be a deeply spiritual time of the year, often incorporating light and the return of the sun, from the Chinese festival of Dōngzhì to the Native American Soyalangwul ceremony. Hannukah features a lighted Menorah. And the star on top of the Christmas tree recalls that bright Nativity Star over Bethlehem.

Coming home the other evening a drive through our neighborhood was a brilliant festival of light with all the houses lit up for the season. We chase away the darkness of these longest nights with lighted decorations, just like the bonfires of our ancient ancestors, calling for the return of the sun. So whatever your tradition, I hope this year's winter festivities bring you happiness and peace.

6 comments:

Mary Timme said...

I wanted to tell you I love the job you did on the cookies. They are masterful! At least to my eyes!

I often feel deep joy with the solstice That I think stems from our time living in Alaska! Up there we celebrated this day as the shortest day and you knew that in 6 months it wouldn't be dark at night! It was a great day!

Sherry said...

This is lovely. Winter sunsets can be stunning - maybe they just seem that way because there is no other color anywhere. your drawing is especially outstanding considering how tiny it is. I also liked the information about the solstice. I keep telling myself, from here on out the days get longer!

freebird said...

This is a great drawing. It looks very peaceful. I have trouble with the short days of winter - guess I'm in the same boat as millions of others!!

Rachel H said...

Beautiful drawing - so peaceful! Lovely work.

Teresa said...

Love the soft colors in the sky. Beautiful!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Watercolorist said...

Love the sky colors.
Jean

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