Through the Reading Glasses December/January 2017/18
Susan Cooper wrote “The Shortest Day” for the annual production of the Winter Revels, held in Cambridge, MA in 1977. With apologies to the author for scrunching it up a bit, I offer it as a celebration of December 21st, the winter solstice and our shortest day this year.
“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, feast, give thanks, and dearly love their friends, and hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now, this year, and every year. Welcome, Yule!”