This is the longest night of the year. I’m sitting in my bedroom in the Shire, looking out of the window into the black. I think I can see the silhouettes of the rolling hills outside, but I actually can’t, I just know that they’re there. Tomorrow I’ll go out there, take a walk, take in the bleak midwinter countryside, the dead grass, the bare trees and hedges, the last few apples, frostbitten, yellow and red. I’ll walk up the hill that should be lying in front of my now if it weren’t for the pitch black night that hasn’t even stars to shine tonight, and when I’m on the top I’ll wander off into the small conifer wood where the sandy ground still tells tales of a sea long gone, or one that maybe never was. The light will come back, tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, more and more. In a few days there will be twelve days of festivities, but now there’s only night. Beware of the Wild Hunt. Keep your lights and fires close.
Happy Yule to all of you.