Today is officially the shortest day of the year. The day when darkness lingers like a last guest reluctant to leave after a party, and daylight slides in, almost shyly. Sun slanting at low angles through tree trunks and around building corners.
I awoke in these first hours of tentative light, the sky, paling to grey. Smudged pastel colours forming and fading as the light intensified. Birds and birdsong were everywhere, a soundtrack to the dawning day. By mid afternoon the darkness will return, darkening the sky and enveloping all in cold wintry blackness, but tomorrow, the dawn will arrive imperceptibly earlier and dusk will be slower to follow. The hours of daylight with slowly stretch through the icy fog-filled winter and warming greening spring until we reach the endless days of summer where skylarks hang on a parachute of song over fields of waving corn, and dainty butterflies dance beneath our feet.