Today is the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. The shortest day, and therefore, the longest night of our year.
We have had a delightful time of it in Sydney this past week. Brisk mornings, clearing up into lovely sunny, almost warm days. Great for long walks, sitting in the sun with the family over a long lunch and even longer evenings for curling up on the lounge with a glass of wine and a good book. But today, the solstice, is grey, rainy and miserable.
I’m always thrilled to reach the winter solstice every year. From here on in, the days will slowly lengthen again, even though the worst of winter is yet to hit us, the promise of brighter, sunnier days is on the horizon.
I do not enjoy being cold and wearing layers and layers of clothing. I do not enjoy waking up in the dark and then walking home from work in the dark. The day always seems to disappear before it has even started. As an introvert, I should be revelling in the hibernating aspects of this solstice, instead I find myself counting down the days until spring and summer return once again!
These long, dark nights of the soul should give me more time to read, but somehow that never seems to happen. And this year, two winter solstice events will make that even less likely to occur.
Firstly, Radio National is hosting their Big Weekend of Books, with great names like Bernadine Evaristo, Hilary Mantel, Bruce Pascoe, Tara June Winch and Tony Birch on offer.
And secondly, a friend of mine who writes for Croakey.com – a blog that offers up an independent, in-depth look at social journalism for health – alerted me to their solstice reading event. This is their third annual #CroakeyReads, although this year’s offering is truncated thanks to Covid. Join in from 7-9 pm at their website or on twitter using the hashtag. You may even find a book or two recommended by me!