Light Up The Dark
Monday 21st December 2020
Happy Solstice! Today marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year here in the northern hemisphere. Just after 10am the north pole will be at it’s furthest point from the sun of the year meaning the least hours of daylight and most hours of darkness. Here in the Scottish Highlands we will see the sun climb the lowest in the sky as it rises at 856am and sets at 1541pm.
Winter solstice, or midwinter has been marked by humans since prehistoric times as it marks seasonal significance of the losing and then the returning of the light of the sun. Our connections with the natural world from growing crops and keeping animals as well as more spiritual connections see the solstice marked in many cultures still today with crowds gathering a sites such as Stone Henge to mark the sunrise and sunset at midwinter.
Traditional ways to mark the solstice include burning a yule log, candlelit celebrations, bonfires, creating arts and crafts with natural materials such as wreaths and garlands, exchanging nature inspired gifts.
Many of us find our mood and wellbeing affected by the weather and daylight with this time of year being particularly tough with limited daylight hours and lack of opportunity to see and feel the warmth of the sun. While festive celebrations around Hanukah, Christmas and Hogmanay can bring joy into our lives during these dark winter months not everyone finds this time of year easy and this year in particular there are many barriers to coming together and finding cause for celebration.
Light Up The Dark this winter:
In recognition of the challenges that this winter may bring Ewen’s Room is working with Support in Mind Scotland, organisations and residents across the West Lochaber area to create our Light Up The Dark project. We want to find ways to connect together while apart, to spread light through the darkness, focus on the wonders of natural world even during the dark nights, celebrate the skills and talents of our community and find creative ways to join together and shine this winter. Our calendar of events includes:
- Family friendly stories around the fire events
- After dark wildlife and nature walks and talks
- Stargazing and introduction to the night sky talks
- Creative competition for under 18s to use any creative method they choose to create a piece of work entitled Light Up The Dark including art, poetry, storytelling, film making, music….
- Leaving festive lights up right through the winter months and sharing images on social media with #shinebrightscotland
- Online craft workshops
- Much, much more.
Don’t forget our helpline and text line available 7 days a week should you need to speak to someone. Ewen’s Room’s Helpline and Textline are open from 5pm-10pm on weekdays and 12pm-10pm on weekends If you are affected by anything discussed in this article, generally having a tough time this festive season, or just looking for someone to talk to, please do get in touch. Our Helpline number is – 0800 689 3317 and our Textline number is – 07537 431637.
Opening times over the festive period are the same as above, except for the 24th and 25th of December where we have longer opening times of 12pm – 10pm.
I thought it would be helpful today to talk about an aspect of mental health support, more specifically, peer support.
The Building Natural Capital Project
The Building Natural Capital Project is a collaboration between Ewen’s Room and the Buzz Project.
Light Up The Dark
A community-wide event to Light Up The Dark this winter from winter solstice to spring equinox