Solstice Greetings

Morning Sunburst“The word solstice derives from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) since to the ancients the sun did seem to stand still. With nature dormant all around us, this is a good time for us to also be still, quiet and rest; a time to reflect on the passing year and as the light begins to return after the shortest day, a time to renew our inner light and focus.

From the most Ancient Days, our ancestors have gathered at Winter Solstice to witness the rebirth of the unconquerable Sun at first light, moving from its long gestation to triumph over the darkness. The divine light gathers strength to bring new hope, peace and joy. Whispering life’s secrets into awakening dormant seeds with the warmth of love and the mysteries of spirit. 

We rekindle the turning of the year from its dark coals, to guide and sustain us as we journey through the coldest times, honoring the rebirth of the inner light within ourselves.”                                           ~ author unknown

I finish with Fra Giovanni’s letter (1513), which conveys my feelings so well:

“I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not got, but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven!

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see – and to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty – beneath its covering – that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.

Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.

And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.”

And to my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, have a pleasant summer!

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
This entry was posted in Inspirational Quotes, My Photos and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to Solstice Greetings

  1. A real gift. Thank you

  2. cindy knoke says:

    So utterly moving and perfect for the times Eliza. I am familiar with Fra Giovanni, but had never read this. Thank you for posting. I am sending the post on to my family who will appreciate the prescience. Merry Christmas Eliza.

  3. That’s a glorious photo, Eliza, and wise words. Thank you!

  4. Karen Lang says:

    Beautiful words to embrace during this special time. Thank you Eliza 🙏🏻💕

  5. Beautiful photo and I wish you a very merry week!

  6. neihtn2012 says:

    Be sure to watch for the great conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon at 6PM today.

  7. Beautiful words Eliza that are wonderful for the day. A salute to light on the day of darkness is reversed. A song for you and your readers.

  8. Beautiful post, Eliza – Winter Solstice greetings and well wishes to you.

  9. Treah Pichette says:

    How beautiful as are you! Happy Solstice to you. Now the light returns to bring in the new year’s gardens & flowers.

  10. Thank you for the beautiful photo. This is a magical time of year. Will you be viewing the grand conjunction on Jupiter and Saturn? Happy holidays.

  11. cynthiakraack says:

    Really beautiful, Eliza.

    C. Kraack


  12. Alice says:

    The ever-important Winter Solstice….lighter days ahead. Today, here: 7:09 ~ 4:15. We’ve gained 3 afternoon minutes. Very wise and sensitive words by Fra Giovanni. Gorgeous photo by Eliza!

  13. naturebackin says:

    Such a perfect photo and perfect for Solstice too. And thank you for the profound sentiments beautifully expressed in the second quotation too. May you now feel like you are turning towards the light.
    Here as you note it is summer and the summer solstice has completely different connotations, although sadly we have our own bleak shadows here too as the pandemic is surging once again, and now with a new variant that is possibly more transmissible (similar but not exactly the same as the one identified in the UK).
    We do have something to be grateful for though. Our lovely dog Rory had to have unexpected spinal surgery on Friday. He started presenting with only the subtlest of limps in a hind leg, but scans showed that without the surgery it he would have become paralyzed. He is doing really well and came home today. Rehabilitation time is about a month and the signs are all good. He is eating well and is able to walk.

  14. “Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.”


  15. Anne says:

    We are missing the longest day here in the Eastern Cape because we have not seen the sun! This means we will miss the ‘Bethlehem Star’ too – the light rain is far more valuable though! Thank you for sharing these beautiful and apt sentiments, Eliza.

  16. Ashley says:

    A perfect picture and wonderful words. Happy Winter Solstice.

  17. Debbie says:

    I’m just delighted that, from here on for a while, we’ll start GAINING hours of daylight! Winter sometimes lasts far too long for me.

  18. Kris P says:

    A lovely photo accompanied by an even lovelier letter retrieved from the past. Thank you Eliza!

  19. spanishwoods says:

    This is such a beautiful post Eliza.

  20. jillslawit says:

    Stunning photo. Solstice is truly a special time whether winter or summer when Earth’s energies come together. Sadly I spent the entire day inside working from my home office and nature provided a spectacular view from my spare bedroom window of rain, grey and fog.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Jill. Pretty gray here today, too. The sun broke out for 1/2 hour, so I took the dog out for a walk before it closed in again. Longer days ahead!

  21. Very nice Eliza! Enjoyed your post!

  22. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing ❤

  23. Cathy says:

    My dear fellow pilgrim, such a lovely message for what I consider to be the start of the new year already. And a beautiful photo that is perfectly fitting. I wish you light and peace Eliza. xx

  24. A beautiful message to guide us to the light Eliza and your photograph is a meditation in itself too. Wishing you a blessed Solstice! 💖💫

  25. Radiance and glory in the darkness … perfect text and a beautiful photograph!

  26. Yes, the seasons reverse for the south. While we had the shortest day now, the coldest will be in February

    • Eliza Waters says:

      January here usually has a week of single digits, but that’s become more random and we’ve already seen those temps already last week. Yet, it is bouncing back to 50 in the next couple days!

  27. bittster says:

    I’m with you 100% just knowing we’ve crossed the first hurdle to spring makes me excited… even if we have almost all of winter still to go lol

  28. Stunning capture, Eliza, well done! ❤️

  29. susurrus says:

    I enjoyed these beautiful words and the perfect Solstice image. I am particularly glad this year to be moving towards longer days.

  30. Bela Johnson says:

    So interesting. We lit a big Solstice bonfire and placed our intentions on Jupiter as it backlit Saturn. We saw it all. Burned in the fire those things we wished to release, metaphorically. Then talked about how it must have been not so long ago to wonder if the light would ever return. Good to get back to basics once in awhile 😉

  31. Mic. says:

    Wonderful post, Eliza. Best wishes to you for this season.

  32. Joanne says:

    Solstice seems to be a significant turning point of the year in both of our hemispheres. Wishing you warmer days ahead, and not-so-hot summer days ahead for us! 🙂

  33. Thank you so much for sharing Fra Giovanni’s words. I remember reading this years ago and had forgotten…. am happy to be reminded. They were meaningful way back when, and perhaps even more so now.
    Also, that’s a gorgeous photo!!
    Hope you’re having a pleasant holiday season, Eliza. Wishing you all the best for the New Year and beyond. ❤

  34. Jane Lurie says:

    A stunning image to lead into those thought-provoking words. I like the paragraph that begins, “Life is so generous a giver”… we have much for which to be thankful even in our darkest days. Thanks, Eliza.

  35. nshami14 says:

    Beautiful. On so many levels. Happy solstice Eliza and Happy New Year. Thank you too for all the stunning images this year.

  36. A wonderful image to celebrate the solstice! The feeling of being in a forest is conveyed so well!

  37. difundelaluz says:

    You’ve truly captured light in this image. Fabulous 💕

  38. DiosRaw says:


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