Solstice Greetings

The Solstice means that at 8.28:AM today, Pacific Standard Time, the earth turned.  It began it’s wobble back to the north.  Today is the shortest day – made shorter by this morning’s heavy cloud – but there is now the wonderful feeling that the dark has been beaten once again and the life-giving light will return.  At 52 degrees north, I still have 8 hours daylight on a good day, but even so the lack of sun always drags me down.

And yet, in 5 short months’ time I will start to worry about the upcoming fire season. This year’s newsletter gives a quick sketch of BC’s devastating forest fires last year.  The nearest, which finally measured about 12 km by 10 km, came to within two kilometres of my home. On July 9th, two days after the fire started, my place was put under Evacuation Order.  I had 2 choices.  I could leave and abandon my home for what would have been almost 2 months, or I could stay.  If I left, I would not be allowed home during all the time the Order was in effect.  So I stuck it out, often frightened and constantly breathing smoke in what a neighbour dubbed as house arrest.

Thousands of people, including whole cities, were evacuated throughout central BC.  Hundreds of kilometres of roads were closed.  People lost homes and barns and hay and livestock.  But no one lost their lives.  In my area, in the end, no structures were burned but that did not prevent the total disintegration of everyone’s plans or the constant angst of never knowing what the next flare-up would bring.  The newsletter gives a more detailed story, and my blog gives a blow by blow account complete with pictures.

Here’s hoping that everyone has a more controlled 2018!


11 thoughts on “Solstice Greetings”

  1. Thanks for all the 2017 news. Those fires must have been an awsome experience. I think of you often. It appears to be very cold and snowy in USA and Canada now with talk of Niagara Falls likely to freeze over. We had warm welcome rain today but 1/1/18 promises to be sunny with 20 degrees in Dunedin and 23 in Mosgiel.
    Best wishes for 2018.

  2. Our best wishes to you Chris for Good Health and Happiness, no fires, not too much snow on your lane way and interesting walks for you and your dogs.
    My son, Norman, wrote to you asking for your new book “Harry” and you very kindly wrote to me inside the book. Thank you so much. I have all your books from your first which I purchased in Ottawa after hearing you on the C.B.C. radio program with Peter Gzowski. That was in the early 1990’s. My husband and I have enjoyed your talks, when you come to Duncan or Nanaimo. Your photography is an inspiration to the beautiful area of this province in which we live. That was my best Christmas gift, thank you again.

  3. Like you, we are happy about every minute that the days get longer. Actually, from the beginning of November to the end of February we only have dark days. Sunshine is scarce. Thank God that we have enough electricity, because sometimes the days are so dark that we have to burn the light all day long.
    We wish you no excitement through fire and many nice experiences for the new year.

  4. Merry Christmas, Chris! I found snow on the Indiana Kentucky boarder on my way
    To spend the holiday with my son in Cincinnati.
    My wish for you in the new year is no more fires!!
    I agree, the pic in this post is indeed, stunning.

  5. Yours is the only blog I read and I find myself constantly checking to see how life is where you live. Such a wonderful way to get an intimate picture of life in other parts of Canada! Please take care of yourself in 2018. Wishing you all the best.

  6. I “enjoyed” reading your information about the fire and evacuation. Even after meeting and talking in person it was hard to get the full score of the event and its effect on you and your home. We always celebrate the solstice and the coming of longer days. It makes living on Powell Lake a whole lot easier. – Margy

  7. I liked your comment about the time of the shortest day (this year). The actual change varies slightly each year since the Earth wobbles slightly on its axis. The same with our closest approach to the Sun, about 4th January.

    I am building a clock that shows ancient Italian time ‘hora italica’ used throughout Europe until the Reformation, and maintained in southern Europe, including parts of Poland and Czechoslovakia until the 17th century. The day then started at dusk, when the Sun set below the horizon (not total darkness which was about 30 mins later). It was decreed by Julius Ceaser in 46BC because he saw that seeds needed to be in the ground for some time before they sprouted thus the natural day should reflect this.

    Happy Christmas and New Year

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