Celebrating Winter Solstice – My Illustrated Poem Now on YouTube!

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Whether you enjoy this dark season or hate it, you’ll find comfort in this short video. I wrote the poem 25 years ago. Since then it has become part of winter solstice celebrations around the world. Twenty years ago, I illustrated the poem, cutting out black white and gray shapes. Recently I came upon the illustrations and realized that now there is Youtube, so, with a little help from a family member, I put it together and posted it.
It had it’s debut on the ‘big screen’ in this week’s Poetic Pilgrimage class at College of Marin. I hope you will view it on something larger than your phone! Be sure to turn the volume up. So many people struggle this time of year, so please SHARE IT widely!

I wrote this poem originally because it seemed to me that everything about the winter solstice was celebrating the return of the light. That is just another way to lean into the future rather than noticing what is present and finding something in this moment to celebrate.

It is not saying darkness is preferable to light! It is only saying to notice all that is happening in our current experience with at least some level of gratitude. Let’s stop wishing life away in favor of some ‘perfect’ day. When it’s raining let’s listen to the symphony of raindrops and the gratitude of the plants and, if you live in a part of the world prone to drought as I do, gratitude for the filling of the reservoirs. Every season has its gifts and its challenges. We humans tend to have a negativity bias and see the hassles and challenges more readily than the gifts. This poem offers us a little balance.

What is Winter Solstice?
Some people are still unclear about what the winter solstice is, thinking it’s something religious. While it can inspire spirituality, it’s actually when the earth tilts furthest away from the sun, making it the shortest day and longest night. The summer solstice is when the earth tilts towards the sun, making it the longest day and shortest night. The northern and southern hemispheres have exact opposite solstices.



  1. Absolutely lovely to hear your words that help me understand the absence of light and the real value of dark. It is a comfort to have understanding and, perhaps, even begin to embrace it. Such words lead me to living life more fully. Laura Peterson

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Stephanie,
    I’ve always enjoyed your lovely poem of the winter solstice but you’ve given it a magic twist by adding your pictures and now your sweet voice. I admire how your creativity embraces modern technology to reach out to the world with your wise messages. You Rock!
    With love and best wishes, Marita.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the creative yet simple illustrations. I’m amazed you can “draw” like that with paper cutouts. And beautiful poem, too. Your voice is so soothing. Thanks Stef!


    1. The Poem and images reflect the rythym and interplay of light and dark in daily life, turning of seasons and phases of life. The increasing daylight after longest night somehow cheers me up. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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