The great Bill Veeck famously said, “There are only two seasons – winter and Baseball.”
As a baseball fan myself I can somewhat relate to the sentiment. Winter. Ugh, winter. That bleak dormant interval between the last out of the World Series and the first pitch of opening day. Winter gets such a bad rap from so many corners. The short days and limited sunlight dampen our mood. The cold weather forces us to put on uncomfortable restricting layers of clothing (my personal pet peeve). Fanatical baseball fans lament winter. Beach bums lament winter. Folks who suffer from “seasonal affective disorder” lament winter. Even hibernating bears lament winter so much that they curl up and sleep through the whole damn thing 😆
I think we could all learn a lesson from pagans, who know how to extol winter’s significance through their sacred celebrations of the solstice. From Stonehenge to Guatemala to Morningside Heights, it’s a hell of a party. Here in NYC, the Paul Winter Consort has been commemorating the winter solstice for the past 16 years with a glorious annual concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in upper Manhattan.
For those who haven’t been to St. John the Divine you are missing one of the most spectacular, spiritual, and magical places in New York City, if not the world. It has been under construction in perpetuity for 100 years and will likely remain forever unfinished. That’s part of cathedral’s charm, believe it or not. You often hear in conversations, “Have they finished St. John the Divine yet?”. Answer: “Nope. Still working on it.”
The solstice is arriving today in the Northern Hemisphere. Last year saw a rare winter solstice event – the miraculous coinciding with a lunar eclipse . To celebrate today here is a great video, also from last year, of the Paul Winter concert at St. John the Divine. Absolutely worth watching not just for the music, costumes, and dance, but to chase away the winter blues. Everyone, rejoice! Remember, the sun will be re-born and the light will return. And so will baseball 🙂