Dawn has yet to push the slightest blush of pink over the mountains to the east. I can’t quite see it, but I know one of my favorite days of the year is about to arrive. I’m writing this today in real time (more or less), as I eagerly await the dawn.
It’s barely 8:00 am, but coffee mug in hand, I have already begun my quiet, annual celebration. The thermometer proclaims a balmy 10F outside.
Today is WINTER SOLSTICE! ❄️
The snow stopped falling at some point during the night, giving way to stillness. I’m enjoying the pre-dawn vision of my little outdoor Christmas-decked bird-feeders in the total quiet of a landscape muffled by deep snow.
The chickadees and nuthatches won’t show up until dawn, where they’ll find a snowy welcome, but no worries. If you peer closely at what looks for all the world like a pair of little Alpine A-frame ski chalets, you’ll see the glow from my Christmas lights shining through small natural openings leading into each feeder. Plenty big enough for an intrepid nuthatch.
Once there’s enough light, it won’t take any time at all for my feathered bird-feeder denizens to have those tiny clearings carved out wing-span wide and will be busily helping themselves to their usual morning buffet.
Well, it seems Winter Solstice this year will not arrive with the anticipated pinks and pale yellows of a lovely winter sunrise to usher in this special day.
Instead, there has been a slow, steady lessening of darkness, with night fading away to give witness to a morning shrouded with fog – and still hovering at 10F.
The forecast is for partly sunny skies this afternoon, so maybe our meager five plus hours of daylight will brighten a bit more. Dawn officially occurred a few minutes ago at 10:17 am. Sunset will pull the curtain back down at 3:36 pm – the shortest day of the year – which doesn’t give me much time for partying!
Winter Solstice, for me, is all about countdowns. Until today, we have been slowly but steadily losing more minutes and seconds of daylight each day, with the sky getting darker earlier and earlier, and the nights correspondingly longer.
Today is the switchover! Beginning tomorrow, we begin the [still slow] process of gaining those seconds, moments and eventually hours of glorious daylight back again!
By Summer Solstice in June, my region of Alaska will be blessed with a full 22 hours of sunlight each day! Quite the dramatic difference!
So, what am I planning to do on this most auspicious day? Well, there’s not much time, so I have to keep it simple.
I plan to take my spinning wheel to our local “Fiber and Ice” yarn shop for their Tuesday afternoon spinning circle. What could be more joyful than surrounding myself (properly distanced, of course) with like-minded friends and colorful yarn?!
AND … I plan to show off the yarn I just finished spinning yesterday. Yes! I am celebrating Winter Solstice by finishing my “Summer Dreams” yarn!
I completed plying the last skein of yarn yesterday afternoon, gave all six skeins a good soak in hot water to set the twist, and laid it on my drying racks by the wood stove overnight to dry.
I couldn’t be happier to face Winter Solstice with bouncy skeins of bright sunshine, warm blue summer skies and grass I can almost feel under my feet!
I know my color wheel. My biggest surprise was that the overall yarn, a blend of yellow, two different blues and white, didn’t turn out looking completely green. 😂
As it is, it kind of depends on the lighting in the room and the section of yarn. I’m totally thrilled to have successfully blended, spun and created a rendition of the image in my head. “Summer Dreams”, in worsted-weight yarn.
Happy Winter Solstice! 💛💙💚💛