At this time of year it is difficult to escape the continuous onslaught of the pressure to indulge in pointless consumerism and the pressure to sink into excessive gluttony. It is the time of year when the corporate juggernaut gets desperate fearing that it hasn't stripped you of all your cash and loaded you with enough debt, to stuff their coffers. The wave of jingoism and totally misleading adverts form a goo that fogs the minds of many, especially the young and parents of the young, it is all about pressure and is difficult to escape. As usual, a few calming words of wisdom from Not Buying Anything. Happy solstice everybody.
Winter solstice is one of my favourite events of the year, perhaps because I was born on this day almost 6 decades ago (that was fast). If I had delusions of grandeur, I might have thought that the light returned because I came into the world.
"Did I do that?" Even if I am not responsible for this wondrous photonic turn of events, it is still a time of year that I cherish.
First of all, solstice is a celebration that is based on observable facts, and I find that comforting in its solidity. One does not "believe" or "not believe" in this well established annual celestial occurrence.
It is a celebration based on science, which can also be just as magical and amazing as any fabrication of the imagination. The rational part of my brain likes that this event is as real as it gets.
Best of all is the fact that this is a celebration for everyone, and in a world that is increasingly fractured along religious, political, and tribal lines, such an event is of infinite value.
Today we celebrate something that is 100% inclusive, even if our Southern Hemisphere brothers and sisters are celebrating the longest day of the year while we celebrate the shortest.
It is solstice everywhere on the planet, and the wonder of nature joins us all together in one great human family on the best home in the known universe.
Now, the light returns, and I find that pretty amazing, even if I didn't do it. Happy solstice, my human family, wherever you happen to be. This is a celebration for everyone.
Note: In lieu of sending a birthday present, please donate to a charity of your choice. I don't need, or want, anything (although a cure for multiple sclerosis would be nice, and the permanent end of war would be brilliant).