Newgrange in Ireland begins its observance of the winter solstice today. On two days either side of the shortest day, December 21st, the inner chamber of this Neolithic tomb illuminates with a strip of dawn sunlight. The longest illumination is on the 21st. I was there on December 19th, 2009. A memorable experience.
At dawn on December 19th 2009, I stood with my then eleven year old son inside Newgrange, a 5,000 year old ancient temple in the Boyne valley, County Meath in Ireland, watching a streak of light creep steadily across the floor and illuminate the chamber. Newgrange is older than Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza.
I stood there, that cold December morning, holding a stranger’s hand and my son’s hand in the darkness, awaiting the moment of illumination, feeling at peace, hollowed out, empty, and light.
I realised that 5,000 years of ancestors did this same act of waiting for the winter solstice sun to arise and remind the world that the longer days were approaching. In the great scheme of this world and its existence, I was just a drop in the ocean of humanity, insignificant on my own, yet powerful when connected with others.
I wondered what it would be like if the…
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