WINTER SOLSTICE: DECEMBER 21, 2012
The days are cold, the skies gray, the sun occasionally peeks through the clouds to remind me of better days to come.
But first we have to experience the winter solstice, coming December 21st. It will be the shortest day of the year.
I think about my friend, Hung Pheng and his family in Singapore. On the winter solstice he will experience sunrise at 7:01 am and sunset at 7:04 p. m. That’s a lot better than the home of my paternal grandmother, Ida Victoria Berg, who came to the United States from a town near Stockholm, Sweden. For my relatives there sunrise will occur at 8:44 a. m. and sunset at 2:48 p. m. That’s only six hours of daylight, a slight improvement on Reykajavik, Iceland, where sunrise is 11:23 a. m. and sunset is 3:30 p. m., giving Icelanders almost four hours of daylight.1
I guess I can’t complain about our about nine hours of daylight in my area: sunrise is 7:39 a. m. sunset at 4:56 p. m.2 However, if you factor in that we are at the foothills of three mountains (or big hills, whichever you prefer), which delays sunrise, we actually have less than that about nine hours of daylight, during which snow is predicted. Appropriate for the first official day of winter.
But why be concerned? What does it matter that the first major snowstorm is predicted to whiten our park-like community on December 21st? After all, on this day in 2012 it is predicted that the world will die. Life on earth will end at 6:11 a. m. on Friday, the first official day of winter, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.
Be prepared to say Goodbye Cruel World.