It's that time of year. The fall season will soon end. Winter will begin December 21, 2010.
Though the beauty and delights of fall seems to pass too soon, there is a quiet beauty of trees bare of leaves, and a blanket of fresh fallen snow. I love the discerning words of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), who said, "Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, tast the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.....Some men think that they are not well in spring, or summer, or autumn, or winter; it is only because they are not well in them."
So embrace the winter season with joyful hearts. Be thankful for each day. Enjoy this season, a gift from God that will last forever. "For all the days the earth continues, seed sowing and harvest and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, will never cease." Genesis 8:22; Psalms 74:17
As you know, Raven delights to blog about how each month received its name. December will be no different.
December is the twelfth and last month of the year according to the Gregorian calendar, which is used in almost all the world today. It was the tenth month in the early Roman calendar and takes its name from the Latin word decem, which means ten. It became the twelfth month in a later Roman calendar. In 46 B.C., the Roman statesman Julius Caesar added two days to December,which before then had only 29 days.
Winter begins in December in the northern half of the world. Some people call it "the frosty month." But winter does not begin until December 21 or 22, and most of December is usually warmer than other winter months. On the first day of winter, the sun reaches the solstice, when it appears to have gone farthest south. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is the shortest day of the year. But it is the longest day in the southern half of the world. The latter part of December has long been a holiday season.
The Romans honored Saturn, the god of agriculture, with a festival called Saturnalia. Today, Christmas is the chief holiday of the month in many countries. So called christians celebrate it as the birthday of Jesus Christ, but in reality they are really celebrating the Roman Saturnalia, which true christians have no part in. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) The Druids of northern Europe used mistletoe in a December festival. Mistletoe is also used in connection with Christmas. The mistletoe had been a symbol of fertility in pagan worship and kissing under the mistletoe was a Celtic tradition. Hanging mistletoe in the entryway of the home came from the belief that it warded off evil spirits.
Soon the fall season will end, and the winter season will begin. Did you get a little taste of it a few days ago, when Jack Frost passed our way? The lovely scenes of ice painted on the windowpanes, brought back memories of happy childhood days. The grass looked white, and sparkled in the sun light, and oh the joy of stepping on rain puddles that turned to ice. Being out in the ministry that day was exhilarating, and you can be sure the hot chocolate tasted better than ever.
I will end this blog with a farewell poem dedicated to the fall season.
It's That Time Of Year
Wild geese are flying overhead;
The air is crisp and clear.
The last bright leaves are tumbling down,
For it's that time of year.
The pungent smell of woodsmoke drifts
From bonfires everywhere,
And squirrels darting to and fro
Hide nuts in ample share.
Wagons filled with happy children
Are seen on country lanes;
Older folk, in sweet nostalgia,
Live childhood days again.
The flower beds now look forlorn;
Jack Frost has passed our way.
With icy breath he seared the blooms
That once were bright and gay.
A cozy fire is on the hearth;
Dear friends have come to call.
Come let us share a cup of tea
And say good-bye to fall
- by Kay Hoffman
This is Raven-as the crow flies!