I think of the winter solstice as a pause. The days have been getting shorter since June and from Friday onwards they will be lengthening again. For a few weeks around the solstice the differences in day length are small, no rapid changes, a slowing down, mirroring the slowing down in the natural world around us, a pause.
The photograph below is my front garden. Where you can see bare soil there will be celandines, daffodils, fritillaries and tulips in the spring, followed by foxgloves, verbena, a hollyhock in summer and in autumn Japanese anemones. The plum tree will blossom and hopefully bear fruit and the hedge will grow and need regular clipping. All that potential is in the small patch of earth but at the moment it is quiet and still, a pause.
There is so much going on in our busy hectic world at the moment, so much to think about and absorb that it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the news, the problems and the fast pace of life. Like the natural world, perhaps we need to slow down, reflect and recharge, pause, before moving on again.