The Shortest Day
By Susan Cooper
So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - Listen!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year,
The winter solstice arrived in my region with temperatures in the 70s and gorgeous sunshine. Daniel slept till noon and Adam went to help the neighbor clean up his house for his holiday party in the morning, but in the afternoon we went to the C&O Canal to walk along the Potomac River. We saw squirrels, turkey vultures, songbirds, a heron, ducks, even a couple of turtles who came up to sun themselves on fallen trees in the canal:
We had dinner plans with the Helgesens, whom we met at Tara Thai with all four of our kids. We ate so well we decided to go take a walk around Washingtonian Lake. Then we came home and all watched Broken City, which has some flaws in the screenplay but is a lot better than its reviews (Russell Crowe is highly enjoyable in it). Afterward, Adam stopped by the neighbor's party and the rest of us watched Graham Norton.