Longest Night of the Year

In the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice is the longest night of the year. This is caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis being most inclined away from the sun. According to the The United States Naval Observatory, which “provides a wide range of astronomical data and products, and serves as the official source of time for the U. S. Department of Defense and a standard of time for the entire United States,” the coming solstice takes place on December 21 (today) at 5:47pm.

For centuries humanity has considered this a critical time, when the longest night prevailed.  People could easily observe the days getting shorter and shorter. Thousands of years ago there was no history and no technology to provide comfort. And so people took up their own acts to ensure the return of daylight so necessary for another growing cycle, making crops and game plentiful. They prayed, told stories, and sang the sun back.

Of course, those elders who had seen a number of these long, dark winters come and go could report on the rhythmic ebb and flow of daylight and darkness, and the likelihood of another round.  Nonetheless, it was sometimes scary to see the light of the day diminish – and I am sure some folks had Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as the Winter Blues, making it all the more disturbing that there was less daylight to soothe their troubled souls.

The earth has her cycles, as does business.  I will take a break soon, on December 24th, this blog will go dark as an act of alignment with the natural way of things. Then these posts will return on January 1st, 2010, to celebrate the new year.  During the holidays I will raise a cup of cheer to all the good works being done by visionaries everywhere, you among them!

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