Wednesday 21 June 2017

Winter Solstice

Today, 21st June 2017, is the June Solstice. 
In the Southern Hemisphere it is the shortest day of the year; in the Northern it is the longest (in terms of daylight hours).

In Sydney, the solstice officially happens at 2:24 pm.

At 2:24 EST the sun is at its zenith over the Tropic of Cancer.
For a brief period of time, the sun appears to stand still at its northernmost position.

It then reverses and begins its journey south to the Tropic of Capricorn and the December Solstice, once again.

Scientists and astronomers consider today to be the beginning of winter (or summer).
Because they use the solstices to mark the seasons, each year the length and time of the seasons can be a little different.

Meteorologists, however, use the beginning of the month to mark the season.
This makes for consistent and predictable periods of time that help them with weather forecasting.

The winter solstice doesn't also mean that we will experience the coldest day of the year.
The earth still contains some heat from our summer and autumn.
The coldest day of the year is still a month or so away.

Hope, 2015, Ian Friend Gallerysmith

The sun has come out in Sydney this morning...and that always helps...but it doesn't look like it will last for very long.

The Winter Solstice Book

You’ll age and weaken one day 

When you have a solitary walk in the garden, wearing the 

Dark-green coat.

Apart from it, there is no other green

You’ll take a rest, leaning against the gigantic tree, plunging into deep thoughts 

In its heavy shade 

As if seeking asylum

The freshest parts of the fruit, hanging on the branches, in our memory 

The beings on the petals, gone missing in the spring

Our fragrant hearts, once filled with honey

Are now scars and holes 

Like a wintry honeycomb, an abandoned building

My dear, that is a fact of life

Solitary, dark, but not as bad as despair 

Gao Pengcheng (translated by Ouyang Yu) 

Theosophie Alchemie Autore, 1687, Michael Maier

After a long blogging absence my good friend, The Girl Booker posted the post I needed to read last night.
Two years ago she read Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic.
She finally posted her thoughts on it yesterday, fully aware of the irony in waiting two years to publish.

I really like the way she talks about creative living as being work. Sometimes it is hard, sometimes it is even boring, and only sometimes is it wondrously inspiring. But if it is something you feel compelled to do, and it makes you feel better at the end of each day, then it is important. She also affirms that it is important even if you are the only person to see the finished product. It's about the process for the creator, not about the intended or eventual audience.


This morning I picked up an ARC teetering on the top of my pile.
It's title caught my eye -
Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded Life by Michael Harris.

First up, the cover matches the top I'm wearing today (it's always a bonus when you can colour coordinate your book with your outfit!)

Secondly, the book discusses the rhythms of life:

'there's a time for resting, a time for hunting, a time for courting, a time for hiding.'

In our modern society we have changed the rhythms of life so much that we have lost the experience of true solitude. We never find ourselves alone anymore - we're always on our phones; we're connected and busy.

This struck a chord with me.

I think my words have got lost in the busyness of modern life.
My motivation and my passion got attached to external constructs.
I need to, I WANT to, get back in touch with what's important to me.
I am compelled to write - I always return to words.
I just need some quiet time, some solitude, to rediscover my inspiration.


  1. So strange, when I am energetic during the summer, you experience the winter dip that awaits me yet again. The seasons rule our lives and it feel natural. Today I sat in the sun 06:24 and enjoyed the first instant of summer. My cats are lounging on the back of my reading chair snoring while we have 16 hr 45 min of sunshine. Your post was wonderful and I will read the post by The Booker Girl with my second cup of tea. The choic of you next read is inspiraional. I love solitude and the thoughts it sets free. Your journey is never will find your words even on a salty day.

    1. Thanks for your everlasting support Nancy. Solitude is something I embrace too, but there are days when the blues take hold. I've been over-stretched at work lately as well, which is usually one of my solaces. It goes like that sometimes.
      Illogically, I'm blaming it all on June!

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I agree with so much. I try to spend as much time in nature as possible. It helps me stay in touch, not just with the seasons, but with time. The seasons take their time. There is a meaning for me there somewhere. I wish you well on your quest.

    1. The park at the end of my street saves me on a regular basis Laurie.
      Living in the city makes it harder to stay attuned to the seasons. I miss the autumn & spring of country life in particular.

      Thank you for your kind words, especially since I know this is not an easy time for you. Nature has such potential to heal us - I'll be thinking of you on my next walk & wishing us peace.

  3. Anonymous21/6/17

    It might be the shortest day of the year...but it's also the longest night - perfect for a late night reading fest :-D

    1. The silver lining... it's always getting lost in a good book!

  4. Don't go too quiet on the blog, will you! It's summer solstice here and we're in the middle of a heatwave in the UK so it might actually be the hottest day! Happy solstice!

    1. Happy summer solstice Lizzy!


This blog has now moved to Wordpress.
Please visit This Reading Life to comment.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.