Winter Solstice

From earliest pre-historic times, humans had noticed and recorded the changing seasons and the movements of the earth.  In the beginning, people did not understand what was happening and for many tribes, the winter was the most difficult times.  The growing season had ended and the people had to live off the stored food and in whatever animals they could catch. The people would be troubled as the life-giving sun sank lower and lower in the sky.  They feared it would eventually disappear and leave permanent darkness and extreme cold. So when the days began to lengthen, they found reason to celebrate and celebrate they did! This celebration is known as the Winter Solstice and in the northern hemisphere is occurs today – for us on Eastern Standard Time it occurred at exactly at 5:44 am EST. The word solstice comes from the Latin word  “solstitium, – “sol” means  sun and “stitium” means stoppage.  After today the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter. This is a meditation on faith from the Native American tradition:


All winter long

behind every thunder

guess what we heard!

-behind every thunder

the song

of a bird

a trumpeting bird.

 All winter long

beneath every snowing

guess what we saw!

-beneath every snowing

a thaw and a growing,

a greening and growing.

 Where did we run

beyond gate and guards?

guess, if you can!

-all winter long

we ran

to the sun

the dance of the sun!



Marguerite Stapleton


600 Brighton Hill Road

Minot,ME 04258