December 21 is the winter solstice. For most people the day simply comes and goes as they prepare for Christmas. For Alaskans and former Alaskans as well as others who live in the north countries, the winter solstice is a very important day. It is doubly important to me as my first grandchild was born on this day.
For me, it marks the day with the shortest amount of daylight and brings it a promise that the daylight will increase and continue to increase until the summer solstice. The darkness of winter brings an overwhelming desire to eat and sleep. I call it the hibernation syndrome, and I am very much affected by it. My energy levels decrease, my emotions tend to become depressed, and I simply want to put life on hold. I noticed the darkness much more this year because I spent October and November in the Lower 48, coming home to cold and darkness about mid-December.
I find the effects of the increase of light on my body and mind to be absolutely interesting. As the amount of daylight increases, my body and mind seem to come alive. I have a great increase in energy with a desire to clean my house from top to bottom, shine the windows, and let the sunshine into my home.
This “coming alive” feeling is very real to me, and I believe it is very real to other people also. With the increasing light of spring, I can hardly keep myself inside the house. The “farmer’s blood” running in my veins wills me to go outside and dig in the soil. The feeling is almost overwhelming at times.
The light and warmth of spring affects plants and people in immense ways. A one-time president of the Anchorage Alaska Temple said that he noticed how light affects people. In the winter hours when there is little light outside, the people tend to hang around inside the temple and visit with each other in the light of the temple. As the light increases outside, people tend to complete their desired temple work and leave immediately to enjoy the natural light outside.
One of my daughters posted a link to this article about winter solstice. I found it so interesting that I decided to write a post about the solstice.