I write this on the shortest day of the year here in the Northern hemisphere. The sun is up today from 7:45 a.m. to 4:25 p.m. At least that's the theory. It's after 8:00 a.m. now, and there has been no sunrise - just a shift from dark gray to less dark gray. Alaskans and others tell me that farther north, the lack of light is mitigated by the brightness of snow on the ground. Here in Cascadia, it's too warm for snow, too moist for clear, too gray for sun. I'm used to it, but I still find myself craving light. I'll turn on all the illumination in a room, or find myself entranced by the fire's dancing flames.
At the same time, I love the winters here. One can meander outside (at lower elevations) with little fear of snowdrifts or frostbite. The rain keeps the landscape lush. You know what they say: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. That we've got down. And it never hurts to tote around your own inner radiance.
I couldn't think of better music for the solstice than this tune from a wonderful album released in 2004. Sax-playing Enzo Avitabile teamed up with the wine-cask-beating Bottari and a bunch of guest vocalists and musicians. The result is sublime, energetic, and yes, full of light. This song features Baba Sissoko on n'goni and Adel Shaaher on tar. Happy Solstice!
[mp3] Enzo Avitabile & Bottari:
From the CD Salvamm'o Munno / Save the World