Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Longest Night

9:30 AM today

The plants in my kitchen window grow spindly and they reach toward the weak rays of winter light in these days of late December. As long as there is open water on the Great Lakes, clouds cover our skies frequently and time is marked by shades of gray and black.

8 AM today

One lighted tree hangs on the wall upstairs to brighten the dark mornings and evenings. The white lights reflect and warm the cold window panes with their glow. On my calendar I count down the days to winter solstice as I anticipate the slow return to light that will lead us to June's longest day.

9 AM today

I am listening to Handel's Messiah on the way to and from work this week. The bass sings Isaiah's words,

"For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." followed by,

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." as a prelude to the joyful chorus,

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Dusk- December 20, 2010

Like my plants, I too reach for the light. This year a full moon lights our darkest night and yesterday we watched with anticipation as it rose above the thin clouds on the horizon. It shone brightly in the dark sky until midnight when more clouds moved in to obscure its form. But it still illuminated the clouds and the earth below.

I was disappointed that the rare total lunar eclipse of the winter solstice was hidden from view above our house. What is it that draws us to watch these events in the sky? We are so insignificant when compared to the vast size of the universe. The moon shines, the shadow of the earth blocks the sun and its reflected rays, then the moon shines again.

Early morning December 21, 2010

Light triumphs over darkness, life triumphs over death... and that is the message of Christ's coming.

Here is a picture taken by a local photographer in the Guelph ON area. He found a break in the clouds at the time of eclipse.

Dec. 21, 2010 Lunar Eclipse


  1. It sound like you are filled with the spirit of Christmas! The last photo of the moon makes it almost look like mars.Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. I'm so looking forward to the lengthening days! That last shot of the red moon is so interesting.

  3. We are drawn to the heavens.

  4. This post is lyrical and I love the writing and the photo's. Thanks for sharing Ruth :)

  5. We had such cloudy skies here, no one visualized the eclipse well. What a red moon!

  6. Even though the season is filled with shadows and darkness at this time of year, I say, looking at your pictures it's still beautiful. Now that I see the photo of the moon...I'm very sad that I missed it. It certainly would have been a sight and experience to remember.

  7. Eclipses in the dead hours of a cold, cloudless night are such a waste. :)

  8. We are drawn to the heavens because we know that is were creation comes from, we are star dust. Just my thoughts on it of course.

    Such a beautiful post! The eclipse here was also obscured by clouds. Felt the energy of such a lovely event though.

    This is such a beautiful post. Blessed soltice!

  9. We were up early to go owling and saw the later stages of the eclipse. Quite a sight.


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