On 21st December the Sun is at its furthest point from the northern hemisphere, making this is the shortest day and longest night of the year. Meanwhile, down in the southern hemisphere the Sun is riding high in the sky as the exact opposite happens.
The winter solstice is a festival of light and in the northern hemisphere it coincides with Christmas. This Christian festival takes place at the same time of year as the pagan celebration of the solstice which celebrates the gradual and at first impercetible return of the light of the Sun after the long days of darkness. It's the turning point of the year and marks the return of the light and the rebirth of the Sun (the Son in Christianity...?), together with the promise of the warmth and energy the Sun brings to make crops - essential to life - grow once again after the earth has lain dormant.
This is the time of year when people of all faiths, and none, can express their connection with the earth, our life upon it in relation to others we meet, and our place in the solar system, so
Share the warmth of friendship at the turning point of the year and bring some light and joy into your own life and the lives of others.
Light a candle - call a friend - perform a random act of kindness - take a risk and smile at strangers as you walk down the street - glow with joy and it will come back to you in spades.
Greetings of the season to everyone out there, and may the warmth of friendship be wrapped around you at this time of year.