According to our Christmas cards I appear now to have a third reader of these scribblings. Most importantly I am informed that they also cheer him up. As a tutor at University told us many, many years ago, if something you've done makes somebody smile you can't really ask for more.
At the moment there do seem to be a plethora of negative and alarming stories out there beyond our little bubble of happiness here in the wilds of Norfolk, but I do wonder whether it was not ever thus. Our development of media and connectivity is such that we now feel more involved with bad news than our ancestors did even though that involvement is largely and fortunately, virtual.
The horrors of a hundred years ago were only too real even to those living in rural Norfolk, but the involvement was actual, with the loss of families and communities. Now our shock and rage is often focussed on events that not only are we not involved with but are not even genuinely affected by. We love bad news and are somehow drawn to it. In the words of recently departed and wonderfully eccentric Baroness Trumpington, "Don't call for help, shout Fire! then they'll all come to have a look"
Anyway regardless of what our over-dosing on media might have us believe, nature is now turning positive. The earliest sunset was a week ago, the longest night is past and the Solstice is today.
The Solstice - the shortest day, today, when the sun reaches its lowest maximum height in the sky — after which light begins its slow climb back and night yields its reach.
Midwinter, yule, the year’s pivot, Earth’s rebirth, a dawn of hope.