Monday, 21 December 2009

Seasonal themes, solstice thoughts

It’s pretty miserable in England at the moment: it’s the time when we have to wrap up warm, grit the footpath and scrape the windscreens. The depths of winter, in fact. But it’s the 21st of December, the solstice. From now on, though it will certainly get colder, it’ll get no darker. We’re still in the tunnel of winter, but at least there’s the beginning of a light at the other end, the first glimmer of Spring.

Of course, that’s only true of the Northern Hemisphere. My commiserations go to friends south of the Equator, of course. But I’m afraid not even thoughts of their discomfort can make me feel any less pleasure at the turn of the season here.

What this this does make me wonder about is the images we hand around at this time of year. Pictures of bleak night skies, for instance, with a few glittering but comfortless stars that somehow make you feel even colder. Or a robin sitting on a bare branch, with a frozen stream in the background winding between snow-covered banks.

Why do we do this? Why do we need to remind ourselves that it’s miserable outside? That the air is frozen, the ground slippery? We can tell the former by looking out of the window, the latter by stepping onto the path outside our front door.
No, I think we need some much more consoling or warming images for this time of year. The kind that reminds us less of the tunnel around us, more of the glimmer ahead.

With that in mind, here’s my image for the season. Naturally from my favourite local place, Cannock Chase.

A much more appropriate image for the time of year, I feel. Enjoy it, bask in the atmosphere – and remember, up here at least, we’re on our way back towards it.


Bob said...


David Beeson said...

My pleasure - and have a good break