It is the day of the winter solstice…the shortest day, the longest night, and the first day of winter. It also marks the time when the earth begins to tip back so the northern hemisphere will gradually get more day light and less of the long nights. I always look forward to this day because I do not enjoy the months when it gets very dark very early. This time between Dec. 21 and March 21 is the most exciting time of the year…for me anyway. By the third week of January, the lengthening days are noticeable and by tournament time in February we are seeing some real progress, daylight-wise! I just read the WRITERS’ ALMANAC online because I knew there would be something about the history of the winter solstice and there was! According to W.A. the winter solstice has probably been observed by people for over 30,000 years before there was any serious farming or settling down done. Ancient stone structures like Stonehenge in England, seem to have been built as observatories for the movement of the sun…actually it is the movement of the earth. On Dec 21 the sun shines through one of the openings designed in the stone structure and this also happens on June 21 in another opening. People still flock to Stonehenge on Dec 21 and June 21 and maybe on Sep 21 and March 21. We visited an ancient Mayan site in Yucatan in 2005 and saw the same sort of stone alignment in an ancient Mayan "temple" where the sun would stream through an opening in a rock wall on March 21. it is fascinating how people have looked to the sun for the changes in seasons for a long period of time. All of this is most interesting but for me it marks the beginning of the earth tipping back again to bring us more light and less night…i highly approve and marvel at the Creator’s omnipotence and divine Wisdom in creating all this and sustaining it as well.