What is the Winter Solstice
The solstice notes the times of year when one hemisphere is shifting into longer days and the other into shorter days based on the Earth’srotation around the sun in relation to the Earth’s axis. These days, June 21st and December 21st, are the longest days or nights of the year depending on which hemisphere you are in. For us crusty northerners, December 21st is our winter solstice, where the northern hemisphere has rotated to the point where it is at its veryfarthest from the sun during its yearly rotation and we will have our longest night. The winter solstice celebrates this long night, andwelcomes a return to longer days.
Both solstices have a long history of celebration in many cultures and religions. At the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) we celebrate the winter solstice by adorning a path along the woods, and through the labyrinth with luminaria. After dark friends and families walk the path lit by luminaria and handmade lantern, wending their way through the turns of the labyrinth. The labyrinth itself was designed for quiet mediation, a space where you either loseor find yourself while you focus on following the intricate path beneath your feet.At the winter solstice celebrationwe welcome quite meditators, and well as boisterous laughter, and everything in between.
For me personally, this is a day to welcome the long, slow season that winter brings us. A time of year where I give myself license to spend all day reading, cooking or putzing languidly from one small task to the next.While I embrace this day because I love the slow season, it also gets me excited for long, sun filled days spent in my garden, spent outdoors, spent laughing with those that bring happiness into my life. I (and all of us at BTLT) wish you a wonderful solstice, and peaceful winter season.
By: Jamie Pacheco, Program Manager
For information on the 2020 Solstice Lantern Walk at the Labyrinth in the Woods click HERE