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November 23rd 2010    Tim Candler

    A struggle to know what to do for Winter Solstice this year.  Parsnip stew, Sweet Potato and Turnip Greens I thought.  Not a meal many would travel for, but a meal we might take directly from the ground, so long as we don't upset the North Wind between now and December 21st.

    Then there is the issue of the midwinter sun's noon low point on our horizon here in Kentucky, as opposed to the actual moment of Winter Solstice which is that moment earth pauses upon its axis before heading toward summer.

    It is that pause which I think of.  Even though earth is spinning, its other movement stops, as though it has reached the top of a hill, and time now to go downhill.  Yet on the other side of the equator, somewhere in Australia perhaps, the opposite is happening.

    

    Here in Kentucky it will be dark when that moment happens.  Could even be raining.   Freezing cold.   But Solstice celebration is an outdoor thing that includes an uncertainty, and which contains a fact, so weather, were the fact is uncertainty, should not enter the calculation.

    Last year we drove a mowing machine from one side of the barn round to the other side of the barn.  The machine had been tinkered with, so for me at least the moment of engine starting contained a wonderful element of uncertainty.  Then the question remained, would the machine manage the half circle trip.

    In my mind the fact that it did, supplied sufficient pause for a good realization of Winter Solstice.  But the trouble is Solstice celebrations can never be repeated in exactly the same manner.  This is not Groundhog day, or Christmas where the past is reiterated, rather Solstice celebration is an act of imagination, a moment of hope and a wish.

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