Getting close to the shortest day always brings out the pagan sun worshipper in me!
I hate waking up at half past seven in the morning when it is still dark outside!
This all crystallised when I lived in North Wales. We had a cottage on the slopes of Moel Famau. The small mountain is celebrated in lots of paintings by various wonderful artists to be seen in the National Gallery.
At the top there was once a stone circle. Now there is a walled flattened area from where the view takes you over the whole of the Liverpuddlian area. Turning around, the coast line of Wales is visible and you can stand on a good day turning slowly to see Snowdonia in the distance...so that when bonfires were lit for the Royal wedding we watched as a row of lights stretched as far down to Mid Wales.
Every year on the shortest day I climbed to the top in order to see what prehistoric man had seen.....the moment when the sun went down in a particular cleft in the distant mountains.
The ancients needed to know when the world had turned....they held celebrations to welcome the return of the light.! I know how they felt! At some point the great stones were tumbled down the side of the mountain as pagan objects but interestingly one of them is still in use as an altar in one of the local churches!
Lacking the mountain here in Cornwall, I will still celebrate the shortest day when it arrives soon! Glory Glory...I shall be singing again this year...
Us clever Christians fixed the celebration of the birth of our Saviour to coincide with a pagan festival of joy! But for me the moment the earth turns back into the light is still a cause of celebration for us all....
Alleluia. We are almost there!