The Shortest Day – Susan Cooper
And 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, revelling.
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, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
It isn’t Christmas time for me until I get to see the Revels performance, including this poem. I hope you had a good longest night – did you see the eclipse? It was snowing at my house so I didn’t even set the alarm.
Winter has been in my little corner of Vermont since November, and it is far from over. At the same time, the days will be getting longer now. I’m looking forward to walking the dogs in the daylight again, someday. Winter seems longest in the gray days of February, but it feels darkest right now. I ride the bus in the dark to and from work; all the daylight happens while I’m away from home. It’s been an odd advent season for me. My tree is about the only thing I’ve gotten right. I haven’t done my usual baking, crafting, home made gifts, or donating. But it will be here soon whether I’m ready or not. I’m just going to attempt to enjoy the holiday, since it’s far too late to make up everything I’ve missed in time for the 25th.