Monday, 21 December 2009

Winter Solstice

Today is the shortest day of the year and, under this heavy grey sky, it certainly feels like it. We've had our first big snowfall of the winter and the few people outside are either scurrying past in swathes of wool and Berghaus or shovelling snow and spreading salt in reflective jackets.

A lucky group of people will be spending sunset (which will occur at 3.15pm according to The Orcadian website) in Maeshowe, Stenness.

This Neolithic tomb, consisting of entrance passage and mound-like burial chamber, is thought to date back to around 3000BC. On the shortest days of the year, the final rays of the setting sun spread down the entrance passage and project a golden door shape onto the back wall of the chamber. The event can be seen on this live web-feed:

Pictured is the illustration accompanying our signed copy of George Mackay Brown's beautiful poem Maeshowe Winter. The page is decorated with silver glitter and the words lighten up this short dark little day.

'Children sing under a street lamp, their voices like leaves of light.'

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