The dead of winter

A society—a civilization, if you like—is a hard thing to hold together. If you live in an agrarian society, and you have only stone, wood, and bone for tools, and you are on the western edge of Europe, few times are harder than the dead of Winter. The days are at their shortest, the sun is far away, and the Malthusian edge is right in front of you. It’s no wonder so many religious festivals take place around the solstice. Here were a people, more than five millennia ago, able not only to pull through the Winter successfully, but able also to build something like a huge timepiece to remind themselves that they were going to make it.”

Happy holidays everyone. See you in 2019.

UPDATE: p.s. Click through for the source of the quote. It’s a lovely piece, you should click through.


7 thoughts on “The dead of winter

  1. Nice reflection Jeremy. Please, don´t forget that a few of us live in the southern hemisphere where the situation is radically different; think of Christmas with 30 degrees C. Since I was a kid, December was the very best month of the year: 1) end of the academic year, 2) Christmas with presents, and 3) the best weather. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Great blog.

  2. nicely written. That inks Jeremy. Did you know that lobsters and other animals must register the shortest days of the year in order to open a window of opportunity to molt later in the year? Then they need the right environmental trigger. Also, in the news today is a light detection system in front of the retina that affects mood in people vulnerable to seasonal affective disorder.

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