Today is the first day of winter, which is my least favorite season of the year. Technically, today is my least favorite day of the year because the season change marks the shortest day in terms of daylight hours. But there’s something about it being the shortest that gives me hope.
Quick recap on how seasons work: The earth rotates around the sun (the big yellow one is the sun), and the earth is on a tilted axis. The day that the north pole is the furthest from the sun is the winter solstice, and the day that the north pole is closest to the sun is the summer solstice (for the northern hemisphere). There are 2 days where the tilt is neither away from or toward the sun, and those are the equinoxes for summer and fall.
Winter is my least favorite because in addition to being cold, gray, and everything dying, there are also barely any daylight hours. If you commute to your job, you likely drive to work while it’s still dark and drive home after the sun has already set. You spend all of your daylight hours indoors and might need to take a vitamin D supplement. No sunshine is also a cause of seasonal affective disorder. Overall, winter is kind of the pits.
The reason the winter solstice gives me hope is because it’s the shortest day of the year, so every day for the next 6 months is just a little longer. Typically in December we haven’t gotten extreme winter temperatures or weather (with the exception of the random foot of snow the south got 2 weeks ago), so I haven’t really started to suffer or hate winter yet. I hang on to the hope that every day the sun rises a minute or two earlier and sets a minute or two later for when I need it in the bleakness of January or the inevitable rain of February. Each day the sun rises just a bit higher as the north pole tilts its way closer to the sun.
So today is a day to celebrate because tomorrow will have a bit more daylight, and so will the day after that and the day after that…all the way until summer.