I forgive myself for being optimistic on this mid-winter day, the winter solstice, a day of moving from darkness into light. In effect, it is bringing the dark days to an end or, if not the end, certainly the beginning of the end as daylength will exceed that of night from today onwards.
Midwinter day was marked in many ways over the millennia. We are all aware of the dawn incursion of the shaft of light into the prehistoric tomb Newgrange and of the alignment of ancient monuments with the sunset so it was not extravagant of me to hope for something interesting and, perhaps, beautiful this morning as I was out of bed and into the garden in time for the sunrise. But, we saw no sunrise this morning only a brightening of the gloom, a little dull light through the cloud and mist and by lunchtime Mary had named it ‘a grey auld day!” Yes, that was about it, a grey auld day; another one!
This evening Jupiter and Saturn are scheduled to be very close together in the western sky, best viewed around 6.30pm; so close, in fact, that they may produce that phenomenon experts say was the original Christmas star. That would be nice but it is also very unlikely we will see it here in Waterford as the cloud has not cleared all day. Yes, it is a grey auld day.