Tuesday will be December 21, the shortest day of the year, followed by the glorious period when the days begin to get brighter — imperceptibly at first, then more noticeably, and ultimately rapidly.
No wonder in such a latitude people have been celebrating this time of year since long before the birth of Christ.
And yet, for all the gloom of late November and early December, particularly on grey, wet, windy and chilly days — of which we have had a few recently — there is always the compensation of the sunny days. There are always some sunny days at this point in the calendar. They have extra magic for two reasons.
First, because of their rarity, given the sparse amounts of daylight, let alone sunshine.
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Second because of the low angle of the sun.
When it does emerge in early or mid December, it does so in rare and often special ways, suddenly emerging from behind a tree or between buildings to light up a room or a scene at an angle it lacks at any other time.
• Ben Lowry (@Benlowry2) is News Letter editor. Other articles by him below and beneath that information on how to subscribe to the paper:
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