The twenty-four hours of the winter solstice mark the sun’s lowest point in the sky, the sun’s shortest path from sunrise to sunset. It also marks the addition of an extra minute of light each day: from here night bows to the day: day consumes the night. (Thanks, Jim.)
When the sun rose today, it began its upward climb on the analemma (seen below). An analemma is recorded by photographing the sun once a week for a year until the sun’s journey forms a sparkling figure eight in the sky.
This beautiful picture graphically describes the Earth’s trip and tilt around the sun. This trip profoundly affects our lives, our climate, and our moods.
Some people are never influenced by the night length but many, if they are honest, will admit to a general moodiness around the holidays. Probably this has less to do with Christmas and its frenetic (and expensive) pace and more to do with early sunsets and late sunrises.
So, remember, the solstice announces Christmas is near, and it reminds us that, buried in our gardens, our flowers are sleeping, building strength for their up coming explosion of color. And, each day gains us a minute’s advantage over night.
Can spring be far behind?