Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice

I know this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but there is a haunting song by Vaughan Williams called 'Along the Field' which always reminds me of the English countryside in winter. As today is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, the song seemed particularly apposite.

I made a short video to go with the music, but it looks more like a blurry still photograph.

I think a bird flies across the sky at some point, but that's as exciting as it gets:

video

P.S. - If you're having trouble watching the video on a tablet device, here's an equally gorgeous alternative:

9 comments:

Debra said...

Very very beautiful, thank you.
For the past three years or so, I, an American, keep coming back to English folksong, and its promises, its haunting beauty.
This song makes me think of the Hopkins poem, "Margaret, are you grieving ?".
I rather like to think of one of the most sacred Greek myths in my book, Philemon and Baucis, where, in the end, the old couple are transformed into a pair of fig ? trees entwined, the gift granted by Zeus for respecting the most sacred of all Meditteranean customs, the unspoken law of hospitality...
...
By the way, something... earth and heaven shaking has happened at blogger. We are asked to type in... ONLY NUMBERS to make sure that we are not computers. The bulldozer carries on...

Canadian Chickadee said...

Lovely. There are so many pieces of appropriate winter music out there, but most are seldom played, which is a shame. Thanks for sharing and have the happiest of Christmases, Steerforth.

Love, Carol

Steerforth said...

Debra - I'm so relieved that it's just numbers now. The letters were barely legible and I know that it drove people mad, but the alternative - endless spam comments advertising Viagra - were becoming insufferable.

I'll have to find the Hopkins poem

Carol - I've no idea what time of year Vaughan Williams envisaged when he wrote the song, but it sounds so lonely and almost ghostly, with the single violin accompaniment. I always think of winter, just before the sun begins to set.

Anyway, I'll stop waffling and wish you a Merry Christmas!

Canadian Chickadee said...

Steerforth, your posts are always so interesting -- and you never waffle!! :)

Lucille said...

There's a gap where your video should be but I will check it out on the proper computer later. Meanwhile I liked the shooting stars and wish you a happy Christmas in Lewes. I've been reading a fullsome description of the town in one of Esther Meynell's books called Sussex Cottage. Do you know it?

Debra said...

Merry Christmas, Steerforth, to you and your family.
Cheers, Debbie

Dale said...

I have to go back 40 years for my memories of English winters.. but having spent four winters in the Low Countries I well remember the cows standing udder-deep in misty fields without visible means of support. And wondering what the fish did in the murky iced-up ponds in the Vondelpark.

Today my Christmases are 22C and sunny, and we get the barbie out.
I still like those hearty old English carols, though, especially the gloomy ones - so this sombre piece reminded us Down Under of what we are missing. Nature's having a sleep up your way and blazing forth in full glory down here (before getting frizzled in January).

All the best to you and yours for Christmas and Hogmanay, Steery deary!

Canadian Chickadee said...

Just wanted to send one last post to wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas. All the best, always,
Carol

Steerforth said...

Lucille - Yes, I have the book somewhere. I spotted it a few years ago and have it in a box somewhere. Hope you have a good Christmas.

Debra - Likewise - I hope you have a splendid time, full of fine food and good company.

Dale - It's a pity we can't organise the weather so that it's 22c for most of the year, but turns into a winter wonderland for one month only. Enjoy the barbies!

Carol - I hope you have a wonderful break and wish all the best for 2014.