Today is is a day many morning anchors and other early-morning people often consider an important landmark day on the calendar.
Today is the winter solstice. We look forward to this day each winter, even if it is the official start of winter and even if we despise winter
You don’t have to be a Druid to appreciate the importance of this day, the shortest day of the year for those of us north of the equator. The sun will not officially rise on the state capitol until 7:22 a.m. and it will set at 4:51 p.m. Fourteen hours and 31 minutes of the day will be dark.
Some of us come to work in the dark, work in rooms with small or no windows, and go home in the dark. We get angry and hostile. The legislature comes into session during these times.
If we didn’t have the legislature to kick around during this season of darkness, our cat would be at considerable risk.
But this dark day is filled with hope. For we know that the long six-month decline into darkness is ending. This day marks the beginning of a return to light. For the next six months, the number of hours of sunlight will increase, minute by minute. In another month we’ll have about a half-hour more daylight. It’s an extra half hour to enjoy the loveliness of snow.
We know on this solstice day that light will return to the capitol, at least on the exterior. We know that in a few weeks we will at least be going home in the daylight. And we know that as the legislative session grinds its way toward conclusion, when stress builds toward its May peak, we will be able to step outside and be renewed by the light of longer days.
The future that is part of the winter solstice plants the first seed of cheer within us each year.
After today we mark the progress toward spring with other significant dates and events. The Daytona 500. The first day of baseball’s spring training. The NCAA basketball tournament. The first noticeable green haze in the trees. The first time the wife mows the lawn (hey, we’re still busy at the capitol, you know!).
Today, the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, is full of promise.