Monday 21st December 2020 _ A Winters Solstice

Today is the beginning of winter. The winter solstice, an annual event that marks the start of this cold beginning of the season. Famously it draws attention to Stonehenge, the remarkable construction that encapsulates a historic England, an ancient Britain. A monument that is connected with history and myth and legend that still mystifies archaeologists today.
The start of winter signifies the death of the year. As I walk Hiro in cold, wet mornings, there is a starkness to my surroundings. The landscape has changed, creating a framework of skeletal fingers created by trees against the skyline. This is one of my favourite times of the year visually, the end signifies a beginning, a start of something new. As the last few days of the year begin to fade away, I find myself waiting with anticipation of the new year.
This time of year is all about endings, people are putting their allotments to bed, finishing work for the year, filing tax returns in time for January 31st, leaving the EU, putting the year of the pandemic behind them, a year that has been filled with uncertainty and suffering. Usually the end of the year is hidden behind the joy and celebration that is Christmas, however, this Christmas is filled with a mixture of grief and joy, it has a bittersweet taste to it. Marred by these ongoing repercussions of the pandemic that has seen us locked in our homes, working on our sofas, turning bedrooms and kitchens into offices and therapists spaces and recording studios. Green screens suggesting more palatable backgrounds, failed Wi-Fi and intermittent software upgrades at inconvenient times.
As I come to the end of my working year, schools having finished for the term, I palpably feel the pressure ease, as I finish my clients last sessions, and we take time to pause and reflect on this ending, and think of what the next year will bring, how will this new chapter start?
Here in the UK, we are told of a new strain of the virus that is proving to be able to spread quicker, creating more anxieties and derision amongst people. Even the news of vaccines seems to fall by the wayside and it feels as though people are losing hope.
Hope is all we have to cling to. The hope that tomorrow may bring us happier news, the hope that the vaccine will stand up against the new strain. The hope that the pessimism and anger will soon, like the year begin to fade into a lull, to be replaced by the promise of the coming spring. The first few snowdrops that will indicate that the world is restarting. Natures reset button, the snowdrop signifies that there is renewal. An opportunity to begin, to see anew.
Nations across the world have spent the year fighting, as as this is now hopefully too, coming to an end. Perhaps there will be time to pause and look forward for our snowdrop, our first indicator of change. Where we will sense our change and recognise the beginning of spring.
Sincerely Yours, Paul