The Winter Solstice Approaches


Welcome. On Dec. 21, the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice will take place. On Tuesday, there will only be nine and a half hours of daylight in New York City before the days begin to get longer.

The solstice is also the first day of winter, so even as the days get longer, they get colder as well. The extra minutes of daylight, regardless of the temperature outside, are a promise that spring is on its way, so I pay close attention to sunrise and sunset in the days following the solstice. At 5 p.m. on the shorter, darker days, my mother prefers to go to sleep. She no longer feels the need to constantly be on the go.

It’s understandable, but for me, a lack of daylight means that I can’t get outside while the sun is shining. Days and months seem to be slipping by on a non-sticky surface because I can’t find a way to hold onto them and fill them.

Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold recently appeared on YouTube to perform “A Very Lonely Solstice,” which was streamed live from St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn last December. It’s comforting to have Pecknold around when the winter blues get the better of us and we find ourselves white-knuckling it inside our mittens, holding on for the summer. It’s mainly him playing his guitar and singing lullabies by candlelight while surrounded by a group of friends. Ending of “Featherweight”: “One warm day is all I really need,” he says. It’s not just him.

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Submissions for the Best of 2021 are still open. Anything and everything you can think of is out there for your perusal. Please send them to the following address: [email protected]. Thanks. If you’d like to include your full name and location, that’s fine by me. At home and on the road. Each and every letter will be read. You’ll find even more ideas for entertaining yourself, no matter where you are, below. On Friday, I’ll return.