“Things have to get worse before they can get better.” Those of us in northern climes who enjoy seeing plants growing outside understand the wisdom behind this observation, when autumn draws to a close and the winter solstice approaches. On the one hand, with each passing day of autumn we are robbed of more and more daylight. On the other hand, we know that, when the winter solstice does arrive, we’ll turn the corner: the shortest day will have been reached, and from then on we can only gain daylight — imperceptibly, to be sure, but also inexorably.
This very day, the 21st of December and at 6 PM, is the winter solstice! And at this remarkable day, I had another of this dreadful early morning business network meeting. But walking to office afterwards while morning was breaking dawn, I had this thankful feeling of being alive, being present and feeling the Christmas anticipation filling my heart to the brim. The town was waking up – it was 9 in the morning – and the Christmas decorations were reminding me of that the family holiday is close. Passing the Parliament – knowing the Norwegian citizen representatives already had started their vacation – I saw the lights inside and the winter blue and clean sky over the scenery. It was peaceful and all the political struggles this autumn period was wiped out in a mysteries way.
Passing the building and turning around, I saw Oslo City’s main street; Karl Johan. It is named after The Swedish Norwegian unional King Karl Johan the 3rd – 1763 to 1844. At the end of the street, you see the Castle build for Karl Johan but not finished before 1849. So you can really say our King is living down town :-).
This scenery reminded me of this big change in the four seasons in Norway. At our constitutional day, the 17th of May, this very street is crowded with celebrating people waving their flags and singing songs accompanies by the bras bands. I was thinking, there is a time and a season for everything and today it was the winter solstice announcing the sun is on it’s way back to our part of the world!
No wonder the Norsemen held festivals. No wonder they ate and drank for the comfort of the cold and the dark, but to the bright and warm days to come! I have no objections to the Christians who took over the tradition to calm it down, but I can also feel the wild Viking blood pumping inside and fill my heart with joy :-)