Hope for Light

Hopefully, the darkness will begin to abate soon, as the Sun begins its return to the Northern sky.  We have grown complacent, lulled by our scientific nature into believing that things will go on as before.  Our ancestors had no such assurance, and lived with change that was frequent and dramatic.  Weather had tremendous impact, and earthquakes, volcanoes, and floods all threatened primitive humans.  Nothing was taken for granted, especially something as important as the Sun stopping its descent into the darkness.

Thus came the celebration of the Winter Solstice, the Yule Tide, the beginning of a new cycle in Nature.  The Sun abandons its journey to the land of the Dead, and promises another Spring, even as the cold of Winter deepens across the land.  But people did not dare celebrate the day of the solstice, that was an affront, a tempting of Fate.  They waited until they could be sure that the Sun was returning.  Not for a few days can one see signs, and only if the weather is clear.  So the Yule did not really begin until almost January, with December 25th being the earliest day.  The Yule had nothing to do with presents, or feasting, it was a celebration of Light.

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