f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 21, 2004

come on back, sun

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:59 pm

The Solstice Cynics won’t keep me from enjoying the concept of an entire people

awaiting the return of the sun and celebrating its light, renewal, and hope — [e.g., Chas.

Krauthammer] Similarly, I won’t let all those who are irked by Generic Holiday Greetings

[e.g., Ken Lammers, Prof. B.] keep me from wanting all Americans to celebrate this Season

without feeling religiously incorrect, compromised or left out.

sunset gray small This weblog has never been reluctant to poke fun at extremes of politically

correct language. But, attempts to make this Holiday Season — clearly the most important

celebration for our nation — all-inclusive do not seem silly to me, regardless of the

Constitutional dimensions of the debate. Indeed, shopping sprees and Santa suits

have done far more to “take the Christ out of Christmas” than a slew of First Amendment

law suits could ever do.

A whisp of white smoke:

Out of a widow’s chimney

Winter is rising


Haiku: This Other World

In the Fourth Century A.D., Christmas was set at the end of December, in order to co-opt (or

overcome) ancient Sun-Solstice celebrations [see, e.g., here, here, and even there]. This

makes the Solstice Story well worth retelling. Universe Today has a good summary of the

science and the lore, including this excerpt:

The season we call “winter” begins on the Winter Solstice. The word Solstice

means “sun still”.

Because ancient peoples knew nothing of the earth’s tilt, the southward march

of the sun was a troubling time. There was fear that one day the sun might continue

moving south until it was lost entirely. Many cultures conducted rituals to encourage

the sun to move north again and when it did there were great celebrations. These

celebrations, regardless of culture, all had a common theme that of rekindled light.

Not surprising then that many of the traditions and customs of ancient Solstice

celebrations have survived to the present day. Although we know that the sun will

begin moving north without any encouragement from humans, we still use this time of

cold and darkness to celebrate the theme of rekindled light. From the Hanukah Menorah,

to the Scandinavian Yule log, to the lights of the Christmas tree, during this season we

seek to push back the darkness with light. Although the forms have evolved over the

centuries, we cans still see the spirit of many of the old ways in our present day Solstice



The author of “Christmas, Solstice, Chanukah: The Season of  Light,” (at eaglequest.com) , says:



“What is important is how this light is shared in people’s hearts. In every faith,

it is a time to forgive what is past and to begin anew: Christ brought light to the

world, and redemption from sin; the darkness of the Jew’s captivity was lightened

and a new life began; the pagans celebrate a new cycle of beginning free of ever-

darkening days.”


No matter what spiritual, religious or non-religious meaning is given to this season of celebration

by individuals, families, congregations or groups, I hope we can all unite in the feeling of light

and renewal — and put aside defensiveness (and offensiveness) about whose feast we are or

are not celebrating.


shortest day

the highrise disappears

into indigo

…………………… by  Pamela Miller Ness



today even the pigeon
says a prayer…
first winter rain

……………….. by ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue









p.s. Speaking of light and renewal: The premiere edition of the haiku journal Roadrunner

was born this week. It’s editor, Arizonan Jason Sanford Brown, stopped his online

haiku website laughing mountain five years ago, but our patience has been rewarded.

The first edition of Roadrunner has haiku from Michael Dylan Welch, Jim Kacian, and Ferris

Gilli, and a “southwestern haijinspotlight that features the fine work of Elizabeth Searle Lamb.


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