Winter Solstice 2011

I am very lucky.  I work in an environment that respects and honors children.  It is a profound experience.  We have a holiday tradition before our winter break.  All of the children, from 3 year-olds to middle school students, are invited to write a wish on a strip of shiny paper.  Then we string them together in a chain and bring them to a gathering where we talk about the Solstice and the returning of the light.  A student from my class wrote this wish:

I wish that it would be so peaceful that everyone could hear the river.

It gave me chills.  What river was she thinking of?  What river was she hearing?

The Shortest Day

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.

By Susan Cooper

Wishing you and yours a peaceful and joyous Holiday Season.

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10 Comments

Filed under Holiday, Solstice

10 responses to “Winter Solstice 2011

  1. Reading that poem made me think of Susan Cooper before I even saw her name. A very happy Holiday Season to you and yours, Gavin.

  2. Very beautiful, Gavin. Enjoy the holidays!

  3. Beautiful image and words. Thank you. And Happy Solstice!

  4. What a lovely poem. Your student’s wish makes me think too, it’s so beautiful. Happy Holidays.

  5. What a lovely tradition … and a gorgeous wish. Gave me chills.

    Happy Holidays!

  6. I hope you don’t mind…. I searched google images for “winter solstice” and your lovely photo came up of the moon and winter sun. I used on my facebook page to send winter solstice greetings to my friends. Most sincerely and respectfully — and what a lovely blog you have! ~ Anne

  7. Oh, what an intriguing wish indeed. I want to know more about the river, too. (And thanks for posting this poem: just perfect!)

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