Every solstice I am compelled to create in response to the ‘sun standing still’. After wandering my beloved field yesterday, I worked on the painting below, well into the night-the longest night of the year.
December, Solstice, oil / cold wax on canvas, 18x24in, 2012, available
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, reveling.
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, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper