Winter Solstice: The Longest Day of My Year

by Rebecca A. Watson on December 20, 2013

in gratitude, holidays, Solstice, travel

For the past week or two now, when I’m riding my bike to German class, the sky has still been rosy from where the sun kissed it good morning. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a good sunrise. There’s something very satisfying about waking up before the sun – it’s as if the day has big plans, pregnant with possibilities in the early light.

The thing is, I ride my bike to class around 8:30. In my opinion, this is far too late. I realize the sun is working overtime in the southern hemisphere, but I can not help but feel neglected with it oversleeping so often on our side of the planet.

Late or not, at least it still puts on a good show.

Late or not, at least it still puts on a good show.

Yes, I realize I’m being selfish and demanding. It’d probably be best for me to live closer to the equator, but then I wouldn’t have those long summer days I love so much. I want it all, I guess. That’s what sunlight deprivation does to me. Perhaps I need a winter home in Australia.

Thankfully the solstice is now upon us, and I can stop lamenting the loss of light. Hooray! What a fantastic holiday it is. Interestingly, while most of the northern hemisphere will be experiencing the least amount of sunlight our planet has to offer, Sante and I get one of the longest days of my year.

Tomorrow the sun will rise around 8, and we’ll be in the air on my way to Amsterdam, where we’ll catch a plane across the Atlantic and across the U.S. After 12 hours of daylight on an airplane, we land in San Francisco at 11:30 a.m. for another five or six hours of sunlight, or at the very least foggy daylight.

What a treat. I feel like a princess with the Universe as my chauffeur.

“You’ve been so good dealing with giant changes, and I know how hard the darkest day of the year can be on you, so what do you say we just skip it this year? In fact, what if we give you and extra eight hours to fill your melatonin-deprived soul?”

Hooray!

Hooray!

And to follow it all, I get to spend the next two weeks wedged between the Pacific and the redwoods, where my soul will get some serious recharging. I can almost feel the tension from the cold, German winter melting just thinking about it. I am so blessed.

We all are really. I recommend looking around and finding out where the Universe has been working to be your chauffeur (or butler or whatever). I also say that the in the dark is the perfect time to sit and hibernate within yourself.

Try to give yourself time to recharge, because even though the holidays have been made into a busy time of year, we’re really not built for that. Consider for a second how much less you’d be doing right now if we lived 100 years ago, when electric light wasn’t around to keep you awake longer.

Sure, there would probably be some late nights next to friends at a holiday bonfire, but you’d still get some much needed quiet time and extra sleep, which is what all of our souls (at least in the northern hemisphere) need right now.

So yes, party! Be merry with your friends and family, because that helps us get through the dark times too, but don’t forget to nourish your own soul as well. Happy Solstice everyone!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly December 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

Yay, welcome back to the Monterey Bay!! Though that photo of the sunrise is stunnnnnning, I can only imagine how cold it must be! I love the winter solstice, it’s such a reflective and pivitol day of the year 🙂

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Ms. Becca December 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

Thanks lady 🙂 Yep, it’s cold but beautiful. And Christmas in Santa Cruz has been unbelievable huh? High 70s and sunny? Weird, but totally welcome 🙂 Happy holidays to you and yours!

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