Winter Solstice: time for quiet and introspection

January 04, 2017

Isn’t it ironic that many find themselves in such chaos at the very time of the year that is asking us to sleep longer, move less, and stay home more?

I’m watching the plants and the trees. They are still doing everything they need to do, but slower. They don’t need calendars, watches, or weather reports. They couldn't care less about Black Friday or New Year’s Eve. They just follow the rhythm of the sun.
Winter Solstice is on December 21 this year. Solstice comes from two Latin words: sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). Solstice happens twice a year (June 20 or 21 and December 21 or 22). It is when the sun reaches it’s highest position in the sky as seen from the North or South Pole, and the Earth’s tilt is at it’s maximum.
In Hawaii, Winter Solstice means we receive about 2.5 hours less sunlight than in the peak of summer. For our lovely plants that depend on sun for life, 2.5 hours makes a huge difference in how fast they grow. The general pulse of the garden right now is relaxed and a little sleepy. Even the weeds are slow!
Winter is a time for quiet and introspection. If you stand outside and listen- nature has a general aura of stillness this time of year. We live in a world that expects us to never slow down. Yet nature sets an example that is very different. It continually shows us that everything and everybody needs time to rest and rejuvenate.
If the plants and trees followed our example, do you really think they would have the energy to create such gorgeous blooms at the start of spring?
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