Just because the Apocalypse didn’t happen, doesn’t mean this isn’t true:
And the reason ^ is true is because, well…this is true:
Lets face it, Humanity is on a funky sort of of feedback loop–change is inevitable and progressive, but the struggle is eternal.
Which is why the Solstice matters.
Billions of years ago (14 actually), something happened. Something that might have been special, that might have been miraculous…or it could have actually been pretty darn routine. Its hard to say though, since none of us were here (or there) and we lack the capacity to see quite that far yet. But, either way, in the beginning, a giant explosion hurled existence into being and set forth events that would lead to us.
Our Sun (a pretty average sort of star), was born from some of the matter ejected in this explosion. One of many, many swirling clouds of matter contracted under its own weight, spinning* itself into the shapes we know today as the Sun and its solar system. It didn’t happen overnight–the sun’s formation took about 9 billion years (that is one heck of a pregnancy!), and in its birthing, the “extras”, the left over material that had formed in bands around the developing proto-Sun, conglomerated into the planets…including Earth.
The Solstices (and Equinoxes) celebrate the cycle of the Earth’s journey around the Sun, journey that is mimicked in our own lives, in Humanity, and by the Sun itself. There is no Baby Sun King, no Dying Solar God–there is a planet, with a tilt. But the Sun does live…it was born, and it will die, on a timescale that we have no possibility of understanding. Mankind with long have ceased by the time the Sun burns out.
In the timescale of the Universe, our Sun is at his peak–midway through its life. We might allegorically celebrate this as the time of the Sun’s rebirth (or the Sun’s height, for those in the Southern Hemisphere), but its really about our rebirth.
Our chance to keep fighting the fire of our existence.
Our reminder to make this the end of the world as we know it.
Because, maybe then, we can keep spinning until we become something better.
Change takes time. It took the Sun 9 billion years to be birthed. And the Earth and the Sun working together another 4.5 billion** years to make complex life. It has taken us, by comparison, 8 million years to evolve*** from our nearest common ancestor with successful descendants. Our species, Homo sapiens, has only been around for 100,000 years, and only in the past 10,000 years did we lay the foundations for the societies of today (through the “invention” of agriculture).
Every year, we celebrate the turning of the wheel–the Wheel of the Year, but also of our time, because the former is a microcosm of the latter. We celebrate the Sun, because it is the ultimate giver of life on this planet, whether we take the time and energy to worship it as a solar deity or just respect its plain damn awesomeness.