Solstice Sonrisa

IMG_7500At 12:11 E.T. today, not so long ago, the sun was directly above the Tropic of Capricorn, at 23.5 degrees south latitude. Apparently, OJ and family are spending the day below a sun that will hover above the horizon for only 9 hours and 26 minutes, having climbed 27.7ΒΊ above the horizon at solar noon (12:06 p.m.).

Word is that Madison WI has it worse: only 8h 58min of visible sun all day. As if that wasn’t darkness enough, in Reykjavik, the sun reluctantly rose above the horizon line today at 11:22 a.m., and set a mere four hours later, at 3:29 p.m. Barrow, Alaska will get 0 minutes of daylight – being above the Arctic circle. The sun will not rise in Barrow until January 23. How’s that for a bit o’ dark ‘n depressing news?

Thank you, planetary scientists…

IMG_6299For those of you feeling a little cold ‘n cranky today, yes I mean you, Ms Northern Hemisphere and Mr I Am Not Shoveling The Driveway Today; if you’re not in a particularly celebratory mood because, well let’s face it, less than nine hours of daylight will get to most of us; and if you’re wondering what the whole fuss is about winter solstice anyway, yes sure it’s the day with the shortest daylight hours (and not the shortest day as some have mistakenly noted, because really, each and every day is comprised of 24 hours), well though I don’t know what is in store in other parts of the world, right here it is grey, overcast, cold and dreary. Hence, I propose that we mark this day with gratitude for whatever bit of sun the gods and goddesses are willing in their noble benevolence to shower on us this day.

As such, to brighten up your day (and mine!) and to give your frozen toes (like mine?!) a break, I share with you some of Spain’s rays that I soaked up while I walked…

IMG_6409IMG_6299IMG_6848IMG_6846IMG_6927IMG_6989IMG_7156IMG_7504IMG_7621IMG_7763IMG_7661IMG_7697IMG_7749Sometimes, even when the sun is hidden behind cloud cover, far behind a snowy sky, you just need to imagine its abiding presence and…smile: una sonrisa* para el solsticio!

IMG_6200* sonrisa = smile πŸ˜‰


  1. Ah, Winter solstice!
    We, traditional Chinese folks celebrate it as one of the biggest events of the year. We eat sweet balls made of glutinous rice flour! πŸ˜€

      1. Ah, you must be thinking about wedang ronde, the one filled with peanut – often found in Java and Bali.

        The one Chinese folks eat is simpler, with not fillings at all. We only eat it on winter solstice day and on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. πŸ™‚

  2. hey finally a reference to Bali! Love your luminous images! let’s go for lunch to Locavore! You’ll be wowed!

  3. From someone who grew up on the frozen tundra, your description brought it all back! How I waited for the moment when the sun would begin it’s climb back to my latitude, and dreaded the slow descent from fall to winter. Some of us just aren’t wired for gloom!

    I love the photos, sunflowers especially! Bring me some of those seeds that grow smiles, okay! When are you coming back to Bali???

  4. I love all your pics but especially the one with the sun through those trees. Here in Phila it was nearly 70 degrees for the solstice- so strange.

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