And 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 now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
— The Shortest Day, by Susan Cooper
for The Christmas Revels
I post this sweet poem almost every year on the Winter Solstice, whether here or somewhere on social media. I just love it and the warm imagery it evokes.
This Christmas week, whatever holidays you celebrate, I hope you do indeed sing, feast, immerse yourself in gratitude, and find yourself surrounded by the ones you love.