winter-snow-trees-alley_tn1Wikipedia does a good job describing winter’s date variations: everyone agrees the season is three months long. Most Northern Hemispherians do winter as December, January, February, centered not on the December 21st Winter Solstice, but about 3 ½ weeks later, due to a seasonal lag (between the shortest days and the coldest weather). But Scandinavians ignore this three week lag, due to the fact that their winter is based more directly on how much sunshine they receive. So, according to those fair-haired friends, by New Year’s Day, there’s only five weeks of winter left!

I’m thinking this is the time of year when we need all we can get of a spiritual boost, something to warm the frozen mornings, smooth out the crunchy mud ruts.

It’s more than a ghost dance; it’s a return to life. Last year’s weed stalks are gone: new fresh green grass has appeared everywhere. New Year’s is when the stone is actually rolled away, the grave is opened, and life sparks back into the clay-full people. Waiting 110 days for Easter is stretching this thing out way too long. We need renewal now, with the 10-hour days, rather than waiting for the 13-hour days of April, when everyone’s out and about early, in the rapidly lengthening morning hours, hard at work in the exploding garden and warming earth.