Shortest day

Today marks the shortest day in the northern hemisphere also known as the Winter Solstice. The earth has tilted on its poles with the northern pole as far away as it can get. From this day forward the days get longer until the summer solstice on June 21st.

My life is completely removed from the solstice and its affects on the planet. I buy food at the grocer and live in abundance. I have no concern that today marks the beginning of what are known as the famine months. Whatever food you have in storage is what is going to get you through until the new crops grow and are harvested in May.

This disconnect from the cycle of nature probably isn’t a great thing in the long run, but right now it is very comfortable. What have we lost by living separate from this cycle? Most work revolves around the work-week and work-day. The work-day has a pretty solid connection to the sunrise and sunset. A lot of us adjust our clocks twice a year to adjust for the change in the length of the day. There is no celebration of daylight savings though. We just keep on working.

The work week is a total fabrication of human imagination. The names of the days are related to the Sun, Moon, and some of the Planets. From there the seven days in a week relates very roughly to the yearly calendar. This disconnect from the astronomical year gives us the leap year, where we decide to just add a day to get things back in sync. What a system!

The traditional celebrations of the solstice have morphed into the Christian celebration of Christmas. The church leaders gradually adjusted their story of Jesus’ birthday closer to the solstice as a way of broadening their influence. Eventually we stopped thinking about the solstice and now focus on Christmas and buying things.

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