I posted this over at Word Wenches and forgot to put it here.
Now I'm putting it here.
Because i really do get to most things, just not very fast
So, me, writing about the Winter Solstice.
If you want to be picky about it, we're two days past the solstice, which was on December 21 this year, but I will just go ahead and talk about the Winter Solstice anyhow.
What is this Solstice I speak of?
Your ordinary woman in the Seventeenth or Eighteenth Centuries and in all the days right back to when women woke up and stretched and strolled out of the cave in Laxcaux, France, might watch the sunrise every morning.
Authorial intrusion here to say that I wake up every morning at sunrise because that is when the dog and cat wake up and they want my company.
They are worried if I don't get up.
They are determined.
But, anyhow, let's say our historical woman is shuffling through the farm yard to empty the chamberpots or feed the chickens. She notices the sun does not just get out of bed any old where along the horizon. When she stands on the doorstep in July, the sun is rising from that pointy pine over there.
Every morning the sun gets out of bed a little to the left of where it got up the morning before.
Not enough so's you'd notice it from one day to the next.
But enough so's you notice it over weeks and months.
In December when she drags herself out of bed and stands shivering at the door, there's the sun waking up all the way over next to the church spire.
That extreme, leftmost sunrise she sees, on December 21 or 22, is the Winter Solstice. From then on, day by day, the sunrise heads back in the other direction. Our New Year is tied to that astronomical event, being a little inexact about it.
I go on to talk some more about the solstice in the rest of the posting, which is here