I spent much of yesterday afternoon hunting for a place from which to watch this morning’s winter solstice sunrise. My map is covered with pencil lines running through local landmarks, Freebrough Hill, Stony Ruck, Roseberry Topping, Godfalter Hill, all bisected at 130 degrees to align with the rising sun.
Last night I started to think about all of the times that I’ve been working away during the solstices, wishing I was at home. I thought about what the solstice means to me and how it relates to the situation we currently find ourselves in. I decided to put away my maps and focus on what is important, home.
Just before dawn, I took a walk and watched the town waking up. Dog walkers and early strollers started to appear, the bloke who is constantly engaged in an argument with himself was pacing the upper prom. On the lower prom swimmers were shouting for joy as they plunged into the cold sea. An ambulance parked outside of the nursing home brought home the current reality. I bumped into a friend on his way to start his long day, getting the hours in because he doesn’t know when the next lockdown will come.
The Solstice is often referred to as midwinter, the reality is that there are still long, lean months ahead of us. The wheel has turned, the sun reborn.