21 December 2008

Meán Gheimhridh

This time of the year has been celebrated worldwide for thousands of years, so I know that it’s not just me.

The Celts recognized it as Meán Geimhridh, the Scots called it Hogmanay, a festival that was “imported” by the raiding and occupying Norse and embraced by the Scots, a variation of this festival is still referred to as “the Yules” on the Scottish Shetland Islands; 7th century Japan recognized it as Amaterasu, in Peru, Inti Raymi.

Whatever the culture and however it has been known, it has been recognized all around the world throughout the centuries. Most English speaking cultures recognize it currently by the Latin form of the words Sol- meaning “the sun” and Sistere- “to stand still”. The Solstice, which, in the winter represents the ebbing of the Suns lowest point on the horizon and marks the beginning of its ascent back into the sky and to longer and warmer days!

Noonday solstice sun on the Palouse

For those of us up here in the more northern parts of the world, the suns low position and shorter days are rather apparent, and every year that I grow older, seems to affect my mood a little more.
As of now, I can watch the weather forecast on the evening news every night with a little more enthusiasm and observe the daylight hours grow longer minute by minute and day by day, all the while, restlessly squirming in my lazy boy like a little kid in the pews during Sunday service making revving noises under my breath, shifting gears as I steal away down a quiet country road, warm wind on my neck and the scent of forest pine in my helmet.

Palouse sunset during the Winter Solstice

Every culture has a different name, and a different celebration for this specific time of the year. I don’t know what the motorcycle culture would call this time of the year but I do know how we’ll celebrate once the snow melts off of the roads.

Ride Well (At least in spirit)



Lance said...

I really enjoyed your post. Your pictures are great, and I can feel the wintry "quiet" of the Palouse through your lens.

R.G. said...

Great post and pictures. Since we are sort of from the same neck of the woods you will know what I mean when I say "I vow to never complain about to much rain again".
This weather is crazy. I would like to be a bear and just hibernate.

fasthair said...

Earl: Great photos, cold looking but nice none the less. I had a clients this morning ask me if I got depressed during the winter months because she felt I wasn’t as chipper as always. Since she rides too she understood when I told her is it just because I can’t ride right now.

During the summer when the equinox happens I always get a little bummed out knowing that now summer is winding down. I will use your post to remind me from now on that summer is coming. Maybe not as fast as I would like but is coming!

Thanks for the uplift,

Charlie said...

Nice pics as usual. Well I know you are loving the snow especially when you wake up and all you see is you car antennae sticking out in a bleak request to shovel her off because it is cold under there. Later

Biker Betty said...

Hi Earl,

Stopping by to wish you and your family a happy holiday.

Earl Thomas said...

Lance- Thanks, there is definitely a wintry quiet out here, this time of the year.

R.G.-When I'm riding in the rain, I tell myself the same thing, it could be white stuff.

Fasthair-Long before blogging, this was the lonliest and most frustrating time of the year for me. The only thing to do was to read and then re-read my motorcycle magazines. At least we have this blogging thing now. I try to live vicariously through the adventures that our southern riders post about now, it helps.

Charlie- The imprint that the front clip of the car left when I pulled her out of the drift was pretty cool too. I'm sick of the snow already and it's only December.

Biker Betty-Merry Christmas to you and yours, it's good to hear from you, it's been a while.


sandinshoes said...

Thanks so much for this post. Though it was from some time ago I still enjoyed it today and wish you the best of the season and the tides.