“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” – Edith Sitwell
Edith Sitwell is my soul sister. I love winter time. I love the smell of the crisp air, the feel of sharp breeze on my cheeks. I love to bundle up in a toasty warm coat and boots and tramp around in fresh-fallen snow. I don’t lament the shorter days (although the days are getting longer) nor the gray skies. I love darkness. I am incredibly energized when the weather is cool or cold. Except for dealing with the black ice that plagues our area from time to time, I am happiest in the cocoon of Midwestern winter. I’m sure an analyst could provide some scintillating psychological perspective about this, but it will not deter my fantasy of being an Ice Queen.
On this, the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice is a source of spectacular superstitions and folklore, historically providing excuses for partying, debauchery, and human sacrifice in attempts to please various gods, depending upon the particular age and society. Particularly interesting is the connection of Stonehenge to the Winter Solstice
Reading the historical accounts of reactions to (then unknown) scientific events stirs my imagination. Introspection into why and how societies developed and incorporated those beliefs into their culture is a fertile ground to be tilled for my own stories.
I am inspired to spend some time exploring the impact of the Winter Solstice on one or two of my characters. Is someone driven mad by the dark, short days? Is there a Druid in the mix? A murder in the name of Saturn?
The ideas that rise from these scenarios are delightful to consider, while I honor the celebratory spirit of the season with a glass of the appropriately named 2011 Renegade by Ken Forrester.