In celebration of the Winter Solstice:
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, revelling.
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.
By Susan Cooper Cronyn, written for the Christmas Revels
One of the most meaningful holiday celebrations that our family has enjoyed for over 30 years has been the Christmas Revels, a multi-denominational and multi-cultural musical celebration of the Winter Solstice (December 22, of course).
The Revels were founded by Jack Langstaff; they were first performed at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and at Sanders Theater on the Harvard University Campus in the late 1970’s. The Revels are now performed by local groups in many cities across North America every December – including at the Scottish Rites Theater in Oakland, where we have attended the Revels for the last 20+ years.
And so I extend to all my future of work friends the same best wishes for a wondrous Winter Solstice and a joyous new year.