Saturday 24 December 2011


I went to Avebury in Wiltshire on Wednesday morning. I left my house before 5a.m. and drove for nearly two hours through the night so I could watch the sunrise on the shortest day of the year; the Winter Equinox. Over the last few years it has become important to me to celebrate the shortest day. I have not got an explicit reason for doing so, save that it feels right and to me giving thanks for my privileged life is very a important act. Giving thanks at this time of the year seems to draw me to the stone circles of Avebury on the shortest day.
I believe we all have to make sense of our own lives, and discover own truths, our own reasons for living. I have come to realize that it is important for me to give thanks and praises for my life, to celebrate my time on this beautiful planet. I am very privileged.
I would like to offer you some words from Thomas Traherne, an English mystic from the seventeenth century:
You never enjoy the world alright till the sea itself floweth in your veins till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars, and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so because men are in it who are everyone sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God as misers do in gold and kings in scepters you never enjoy the world.
Till your spirit filleth the whole world and the stars are your jewels: till you are as familiar with the ways of God in all ages as with your walk and table; till you are intimately acquainted with that shady nothing out of which the world was made; till you love men so as to desire their happiness with a thirst equal to the zeal of your own; till you delight in God for being good to all, you never enjoy the world.
As I get older Thomas Traherne seems to speak more clearly to me than he did when I was a young man. I wanted to share his words with you at this time of year. May your God be with you.


  1. Thank you, Paul. Likewise. Those are beautiful, powerful words and I agree with all of it. I love that you celebrate the shortest day! What a cool thing to do... I'd never really thought about it, but it makes sense. I feel very in tune with the earth as well, even tho it is only my home for a short while.
    Merry Christmas!! All the best! :)

  2. Thanks for sharing the passage!

    Beautiful pictures.

  3. Pk: Thanks, Thomas Traherne has chimed with me for years. I am glad I could share it with you.
    Golden Eagle: Thanks, the photos were taken a year or so ago, I forgot the camera this time! It is difficult not to take a good photo there as the whole place is beautiful, the village is built in the stone circle.

  4. I loved this! So refreshing and insightful. I like the idea of celebrating the shortest day of the year. I have never thought about doing that before!

  5. Those photos are amazing! I love that you go see sunrise on the shortest day of the year. It's one of my favorite days. I think it's because I'm a huge lover of light, so I know that every day for the next six months, we will gain some every single day.

  6. Kelley: It is about rebirth, the rebirth of the world. I read somewhere that historians now think that the stone circles like Stonehenge and Avebury were used on the shortest day rather than the longest. that the shamans would cross over to the other world.
    Peggy: Thank you, I took them a couple of years ago, the day was overcast this year. I know what you mean about it it getting lighter, my Granny used to say it gets a cock stride lighter each day. I think I read somewhere its about a minute a day but that may not be right.

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