Those who claim to know say today is the first day of Winter. Those of us who live in northern climates, who have been bundling up and plugging in our block heaters for a couple months now, often get a good laugh out of that.
I went outside early this morning to do a couple quick chores. Early: Still dark, the stars still burning, the blue-silver just starting to touch the eastern horizon. And I could smell magic crackling in the cold air.
Not goofy, Harry-Potterish, turn-kittens-into-mushrooms magic, nor fluffy, New-Ageish, dance-barefoot-in--the-rain magic, but the kind of magic grounded in hard science and certain hope: Today is four seconds longer than yesterday. Today, the sun begins its journey back north.
First day of Winter? Heck no. Today, Spring starts coming. It takes a long time, and there are still storms to endure, but it's coming, and nothing will stop it.
Happy solstice, my friends.