Dark was the Night
I don’t know if this past Winter Solstice, which took place on December 21st, as it does every year, was the darkest night of the past 500 years, as this article claims it was. And even if it was, I don’t really know how we would have been able to tell the difference. You’d have to drive way out into the country somewhere, methinks, somewhere there’s no electric lighting, to truly appreciate it, and any time you do such a thing and if there’s no moon, it’s gonna be DARK. When you get to the point that you can’t see your hand in front of your face, there might be levels of darkness even greater, but you wouldn’t be able to discern them.
Anyway, it hardly matters if this Solstice was the darkest in centuries. For certain it WAS the longest night of the year, and ancient peoples knew it. That’s why all sorts of supernatural significance, and later grand celebrations, were affixed to it. As with October 31st, which eventually became our modern Halloween, it was believed the barriers between the physical world and the world of the spirits grew more porous on the night of the Solstice. Did the fact that this Solstice night was even more dark than usual, if such was indeed the case, mean that there were even MORE spirits wandering around than is typical of a Solstice? I don’t know. We could always check the figures for liquor sales, I suppose. The higher the amount of alcohol sold and consumed, the more spirits. There’s a reason hooch is sometimes called “spirits,” after all. Many a ghost has hidden, lurking, inside a bottle, waiting to be unleashed.
I hope your Solstice was merry and bright, with or without the aid of lubrication. For me, MY spirits were of the non-alcoholic variety. Sure I saw them. Didn’t you?