A Long, Dark Night and a Bright New Day

Tonight we will have the first full lunar eclipse to take place on the Winter Solstice in nearly 400 years. It will be another four centuries before it happens again.

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year (less than 7.5 hours of sunlight for Edmonton!), and holds great significance for nearly every culture, religion, and community in the world. For us in the Northern hemisphere, it marks the turning point when days start getting longer again. When we start getting more sun, more light, when we can start looking forward to Spring.

This is a time of year for optimism and hope, for being grateful for everything and everyone we have around us, and for looking forward to the future. This is a time to make plans, and get excited about the new year.

Tonight we can watch the Earth’s shadow fall across the Moon. Literal cosmic events. People around the world will look up and watch this happen. This transcends any man-made borders, geographical or philosophical.

Some people would look at an eclipse and see how small and insignificant they are. Some would look at the longest night of the year and see only darkness and cold. I would offer instead togetherness, community, family: “We’re all in this together.” Be grateful that we have made it this far and look with confidence and excitement at the future ahead. The sun will come up tomorrow, the world will keep turning, it’s up to us to make the most of the ride.

All the best from our team and families to you and yours; may you have a warm, safe, and happy Winter, and a joyful and prosperous 2011. We’re looking forward to it.

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