Winter solstice has passed, the saternalia is over and the sun will be travelling north a little further each day. It all means long, sunny days are just around the corner.
How do you picture the calendar year in your mind? In my mind's eye, I actually see it rather like an oval shaped race track with January and February at the top and July and August at the bottom. The months of March, June, September and December are all at the curves of the track, while October and November and April and May are along the sides.
I'm always happy when we "round the club house turn" where December sits and we head into the top of our calendar oval. It means, up here in the Pacific Northwest, that we are getting near the end of our winter. Sometimes in mid-January dear little snowdrops bravely show their faces and by February the green spears of daffodils are poking through the ground.
Those long, dark days of November and December are difficult to get through and it's easy to understand to some extent why our pagan ancestors living in northern climes instituted the Saturnalia to add some winter cheer. I often wonder if that is not what modern day winter festivals are all about.