Historically, one of the biggest parties of the year was celebrated at the winter solstice on Dec. 21.
In our world today, the solstice is just an odd anomaly mentioned on the talk shows during your morning commute but earlier cultures, connected to the rhythms and cycles in nature, celebrated the solstice because it marked the day that we knew we were not all going to die!
If you have taken notice, since the equinox in June, the sun has slid more than 60 degrees to the south at sunrise on the horizon. We have also lost more than six hours of sunlight in a given day.
If this trend were to continue, we would soon be facing a cold, frozen death in a dark, sun-less world. Not to fear. Dec. 21, the winter solstice, marks the day this southern migration of the sun and shortening day length comes to an end. We are not going to die!
Join us at Hanging Rock Conservation Area near Redfield for a predawn bonfire and a celebration of the winter solstice sunrise. Stand at our astronomical clock constructed with stones to measure time based on the celestial waltz of the earth and sun. Shed for a moment on this morning the pace of “cultural” time, and reside in the real pace of “nature’s” time.
Join us to celebrate the season from 7 a.m. to sunrise at Hanging Rock, 916 Redfield St. in Redfield.
Ken Keffer is the outreach coordinator for the Dallas County Conservation Board.