December 21, 2019

The winter solstice is upon us: the shortest period of daylight for those of us in the northern hemisphere; the longest night. If you’re familiar with my scribblings from the past, you know this is usually the day when I describe how, for century upon century, humanity has celebrated the cyclic passage and arrival of yet another season. I typically note how important this date was for ancient cultures around the globe and go on to lament the fact that the winter solstice largely passes without notice in contemporary society. I then close by pointing out that few people today understand or appreciate astronomical stuff like the winter solstice.

This year, I’m using the winter solstice as an opportunity for reflection. A chance to ponder where I’ve been and where I’m going as a photographer, artist, scientist, and most importantly as a human being. Humans only experience a handful of winter solstices in one lifetime, so it’s important to occasionally step back and look at what we’ve done with our precious time. Nothing like using the longest night of the year to shed a little light on things, right?

Looking back, my 2019 has been filled with wonderful experiences, great trips, tough challenges, and fantastic photographic opportunities. I think you’ll see all that and more embodied in the attached collage of my collection of favorite images from 2019. I couldn’t have asked for more! Looking forward, the beginning of a new year is always a time for hope and optimism. Coupled with the beginning of a new decade, I’m even more optimistic than usual right now. I can only hope that 2020 lives up to that optimism!

Looking back. Looking forward. Hope. To me, all this symbolizes the winter solstice. Daylight has dwindled to its shortest time of the year. Tomorrow will be brighter. Maybe that is how people in ancient cultures viewed the solstice. Not so much as an astronomical waypoint in our planet’s voyage around the sun, but as an opportunity for reflection. I hope you do too!

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