2020 Winter Solstice Poem
From time prehistoric this day has been tracked,
as a portent of Spring, of the Sun’s timeless pact
to return every year, after waning till scant,
and the lengthening darkness’ rhythm supplant.
At Stonehenge, Chichen Itza, K/Carnac, Newgrange, Tulum
Northern cultures world-wide marked this solar return.
Thus with fervor and hope to invigorate Sol,
groups would dance, song & chant; prayerful welcome extoll.
For the crops, herds, and health to burgeon once more
Ameratasu, Gaia, Mithra; all Gods they’d implore.
Beliefs differed, as now; yet each culture with rites
marked the Solstice and feted the day with delights.
Oil & candles they’d light, log-fires start with a spark,
and evergreens praise: sustained life despite dark.
Friends and families would gather, tend rifts and share meals
as communities joined in these vigil’d appeals.
When Christianity grew, thanks to Pope Julius I
A near date, 12/25, became known as Christ’s birth.
So our modern traditions mimic those ancient rites
and we still celebrate the re-birth of the light.
With song, meals, and gifts friends and families fulfill
customs secular and sacred to bolster goodwill.
2020’s been hard, filled with fear, rage, discord
as Covid and politics led to rifts untoward.
Yet if history we’ll learn we can choose a bright course
to acknowledge our differences, yet choose peace over force;
to favor shared needs of food, shelter, and health,
we’re with balance sustained by the Earth’s bounteous wealth.
Hence as Nyx yields to dawn and ends this shortest night
I kneel, weep, and pray: may our customs incite
reborn kindness and empathy, thus a peace to ignite.
So that we, each and all, in every person we greet,
see our hopes and fears echoed; and with kindness replete
offer wishes for health, heartfelt peace, joy complete.