This time of year is interesting. Holiday, year-end, and new year celebrations abound. We find ourselves reflecting on the past in one moment. The next moment we are looking forward to the future.
Outside, the cold has set in and often times we already have snow on the ground. Winter has arrived.
When does winter “officially” begin? In meteorologic terms, it began December 1st. Astronomically speaking, it begins at the winter solstice. (Here's a great article about the seasons, solstice, equinox, aphelion, perihelion)
At this point in our annual trip around the sun, the Earth's tilt has the northern portion positioned further from the sun than the southern hemisphere. Thus the reason the sun is lower in the southern sky rather than overhead during the middle of the day.
This year, December 21st is the day where the tilt will reach its peak and begin to reverse. This pivot occurs at 9:59am on Tuesday, the winter solstice.
I find inspiration in recognizing this day and moment as it means that we will start to see our daylight hours lengthening with each passing day. I love the cold and the snow, but can be challenged as there are days where I leave home before sunrise and return after sunset.
By taking time to acknowledge the solstice, I am energized with positive emotions. I am aware of this specific point in the journey and in-tune with the present moment. Brighter days are ahead both literally and figuratively.
Where will you be Tuesday morning?
I will be on the ground, but still outside amongst trees. I have picked out a trail with numerous pockets of conifers. WInter's color spectrum is dominated with browns and grays, which is why it is important to immerse myself in the greens of pines, spruces, cedars and hemlocks!
Some people perceive winter as a long and dark time of the year. By taking time to celebrate the winter solstice, I am able to keep my focus on the fact that the amount of daylight is starting to increase. This lends itself to a positive mindset.
Winter is the time to celebrate the daytime getting longer. Here comes the sun!
As a G.O.T.C. Recognized Master Instructor & Facilitator, I.S.A. Board Certified Master Arborist, and T.C.I.A. Certified Treecare Safety Professional, Curt has spent over 30 years dedicated to the study and care of trees.