The winter solstice has passed… almost imperceptibly we feel the days lengthening… and yet, even as the light lingers the grip of winter seems to tighten… This is why, I suppose that the calender shows the solstice as the “first day of winter” instead of what it truly is… the Mid-Point of winter, the zenith of winter, the longest night of the year. We are all familiar with the fact that the temperature is lowest just as the sun begins to rise and we all know the saying “it’s darkest just before the dawn” so why would the seasons be any different? Perhaps it is our culturally conditioned need to be in control that led us to make a specific pronouncement on the day winter “officially” begins… Who knows? I only know that it makes absolutely no sense to me… After all, isn’t it logical that winter would begin earlier in more northerly climes? Here in central Texas we have virtually no winter… a couple of chilly weeks and that’s about it whereas in North Dakota the snow and cold come much earlier and stay much later… the only consistent part of these very different winters is that they both pivot around the shortest day of the year… Conversely, our summer comes early, stays late and generally refuses to go quietly… like winter, it is centered around a specific point… the summer solstice. I simply put this out here for thought… If you are like me you will “know” when autumn comes or winter or any other season… for me it is a change in the air… I can’t describe it but the air will taste and feel different and I will find that my mind shifts with it… as the daylight hours increase my soul becomes restless…. like the seeds beneath the earth I feel the need to stretch myself and expand outward… at the opposite end of the spectrum as days become shorter I feel the need to retreat into myself… gathering close to the hearth… nurturing the fire of life… And I do… as I grow older I give myself more to the turning of the seasons, the marking of time to the song of mother earth and in doing so I find more peace and harmony in my life.