Sol – solas – solace – solstice… light returns.


The line of the sun is so low at this latitude. It comes level to us across flat yellow fields, over rooftops; reaching through to meet us, softly; reaching out for our fingers. It comes to keep the day with us, staying beside, shoulder to shoulder, companionately; sheltering, rather than exposing.

Gentle light. Kind light.
This is the light I came to live in.


frosted leaf in grass caught in the early sunlight


Sol, Latin for the sun, from which French soleil; and sol, French for ground, floor, from Latin solum, foundation, earth, from which soil.

Sol, soil, soleil: the sun and the land that holds it. The sun is at its lowest arc in the sky now, its humblest peak, barely clearing the hilltops by midday and seeming to stand still momentarily in its rise and fall around us before eventually beginning its climb towards summer again (solstice, from Latin sol and sistere, to come to a stop).

We take pleasure in its renewal, take solace, from Latin solari, to console, to assuage.

We take comfort and joy in this fine northern sunshine: our solas, Gaelic for light.

Strathendrick, Stirlingshire, Scotland
21st December 2012