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Seeking Balance in the Universe

aspaysia's picture
Posts: 253
Joined: Nov 2003

There'll be no creaking of Earth's poles to be heard this night as our planet begins its tilt towards another season. Nor will there be weeping and wailing as awestruck primitive man must have done, as he begged the omnipotent gods to be merciful and return the sun to its rightful place in the heavens. Yet even as we claim to understand most of the great mysteries that come with the changing, shifting seasons, a deep sense of wonder remains.

Solstice comes from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to cause to stand), meaning when the sun stands still. This semi-annual event takes place when the Earth's polar angle reaches its maximum and begins to return, marking the beginning of another celestial year.

The sun's vertical rays, instead of continuing to pass directly over the Tropic of Capricorn -- Rio de Janeiro is on the line -- at noon today will begin moving north, by June passing over the Tropic of Cancer -- say, the Florida Straits between Cuba and Key West. In that time they will have moved about a quarter of the Earth's circumference, a distance of roughly 3,300 miles. For tonight the sun will not set over the Antarctic, nor will there be a sunrise north of Fort Yukon.

So winter begins again. Immutable and predictable, a tick in the timepiece of the seasons, another pulse beat of the years. No matter what bribes we offer the gods, no rites or pleadings will change the seasons from following with impeccable reliability their celestial orders. Winter's cold comes, and we move on.

Man won't begin his celebration of the returning sun for another few days, so bundle up, step outside tonight -- it's a great time for stars. With frosting on the grass, just before dawn, the Ursid meteor fireworks peak. Is it nature celebrating the successful completion of another year?

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

I can see you've been reading your brother's copy of Bowditch!

Happy Winter Solstace (BTW, this is a significant Pagan feast day - did you know that's why the Christians of old decided to have Christmas - their biggest feast day - on Dec 25th?)

Revolving at 250,000 MPH toward Vernal Equinox...

- SB

aspaysia's picture
Posts: 253
Joined: Nov 2003

I must confess that I am not the author of this piece. It was taken from the local paper. The same one to which I write angry pagan letters to the editor.

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

I celebrated it by skating around a frozen pond under the light of the stars and the bonfire. I love Winter.

Carry on Mr. Bowditch....I mean SpongeBob.

And what angry pagan letters do you write Oh Celestial Sister?

peace, emily

aspaysia's picture
Posts: 253
Joined: Nov 2003

Skating on a pond sounds like a scene out of my childhood. Growing up in Canada we would play all day until our snowsuits were a solid blocks ofice. It hurt to thaw out after Jack Frost nipped at our fingers and toes.

As to my letters to the editor, they are about trips to the DMV (that's always a trip) or refuting some overeducated type who thinks we should 'get a jump on the future'--aren't we getting ahead of ourselves here? And rednecks writing dumb-*** letters bashing the French. Again! That's old news but my French/Creole heritage required a response from moi and I put him down good.

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