I took this photo while Robb and I were out on the Bay Trail, yesterday. I must have looked like a maniac, balancing a mandarin orange on the top of a worm-eaten piece of driftwood. Luckily, there weren't a lot of people on the trail, to observe my shenanigans.
Today is the Winter Solstice: the longest night for people in the Northern Hemisphere. From here on, the days will get longer, and spring will eventually overtake winter. With regards to winter, we certainly don't have much to complain about in Northern California. We get fresh organic produce delivered to our door all year 'round. And we're not buried under mounds of snow. Actually, with the return of the rains (California's summers are rainless and all our vegetation goes dormant in the "normal" growing season), we are about to enter our greenest time of year.
So, unlike our ancestors, we don't face the solstice with a mix of joy and dread. We won't have to worry about starving over the winter, as our food supplies dwindle. We won't be slaughtering our livestock, to avoid feeding them over the long winter. We won't build temples to track the movement of the sun in the sky (that's just too much bother, these days).
But we will certainly watch the skies, and think about the cycle of the seasons, and enjoy the thought that sometime, not so far from now, the days will lengthen, once again.