Each pine at dusk
lodges the bird
of its voice
perpendicular and still
indifferent to history
tearless as stone
in tremulous excitement
the ancient story
of the sun going down.
- John Berger from “And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos”
New Yorker – Postscript: John Berger, 1926 – 2017: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/postscript-john-berger-1926-2017
Happy Winter Solstice!
The reason for the season. The Winter Solstice heralds the symbolic rebirth of the Sun, the lengthening of days, and the promise of renewed life.
I would have liked to appreciate the winter solstice sunset from somewhere cold and with snow. But here in Pacifica it was a warm 61 degrees and so I took a walk down by the pier and caught this sunset.
I took this picture at the Pacifica Municipal Pier on December 21st, 2016 at 4:52 PM. Winter has officially arrived according to astronomers. This year I learned why meteorologists have a different start date for winter than astronomers. I also learned that there may be a better way to mark the seasons by having the solstices mark the middle of the season instead of the start. There are Midsummer festivals which as the name denotes are held in the middle of the summer and occur around the summer solstice. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have a Midspring, Midautumn and Midwinter festivals as well? You can never go wrong with adding more festivals in my opinion.
“Culturally, the solstices and equinoxes are typically used to denote either the beginnings of the seasons or the center points of the seasons,” as in England, says Rick Kline, with the Spacecraft Planetary Imaging Facility at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
“Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays have arisen out of the solstices, equinoxes and the midpoints between them,” he said.