I have a hemispheric bias. I understand my northern hemisphere, its traditions, and its quirks. We northerners personify the dark days.When I see an image of Chronos/Saturn using one of his children as a midnight snack, it’s a metaphoric munchie , and innately I understand its cultural roots and the darkness of December–it’s time eating our lives.
It is near logical to me that people, in their complete and “advanced darkness” (thanks, Spongebob) would make finding out when the darkest day of the year would be a really…big…deal. Time to cut down some evergreen branches and put another log on the fire. Heck, sacrifice a young maiden if you need to, it’s dark! We want light! Sun, come back! Come back, sun!! I can set my Stonehenge to it.
And how do I connect Saturn to Snow White? When the Queen, with one tenuous hold on her youth and beauty, all due to the subjective whims of a rhyming mirror, decides that the ebony-haired beauty, with nary a grey hair or wrinkle, is encroaching on her territory, well, then, Snow’s heart is the price she must pay! What is it with older folks symbolically ‘eating’ the young? Hey, dude, I can buy an i-Pod too – so what if I break a hip trying to dance to it?
Enter Baby New Year. Crackling. Colicky. Cranky. Abandoned by old man Saturn, this kid grows up all over again on his own, to learn the same lessons, to touch the burning stove again, and stick the proverbial fork in the proverbial light socket repeatedly. No wonder why we never learn anything, really.
Both Chronos/Saturn and the Queen should have a chat, compare notes. Getting older isn’t all that bad, is it? Reminiscing on past triumphs and errors–it’s as someone said: “It all works out okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” I can’t think of a more paradoxically optimistic/pessimistic quote as that one.
The sun will come out tomorrow.
The Writer’s Almanac Winter Solstice Link (December 21, 2009)
In the northern hemisphere, today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It’s officially the first day of winter. It’s officially the first day of winter and one of the oldest known holidays in human history. Anthropologists believe that solstice celebrations go back at least 30,000 years, before humans even began farming on a large scale. Many of the most ancient stone structures made by human beings were designed to pinpoint the precise date of the solstice. The stone circles of Stonehenge were arranged to receive the first rays of midwinter sun.