Drive the Cold Winter Away

It’s the December solstice in Ireland, and the day I exchange gifts with my husband.

During the darkest, shortest day – often grim and grey – it’s nice to remember the warmth and happiness that exists. And from this point onward the daylight will slowly increase again.

The world turns, change occurs, and we either move with it or against it.

Here’s one of my favourite songs for this time of the year ‘Drive the Cold Winter Away’ by the Irish band The Horslips. (The entire Drive the Cold Winter Away album is terrific, especially if you like 70s folk music).

Several years ago I went to Newgrange, Ireland’s marvellous Neolithic passage tomb, on the solstice morning – which required a very early wake up call.

I hadn’t tried to be on the lottery for those who are inside the tomb to witness the sun streaming in through its aligned sun-box, what I wanted was the experience of being on the site on the shortest day.

It dawned very cold and very bright, and the views were spectacular.


What a reminder of the beauty of the world, when we take the time to pause and observe it.

I love the fact that the Irish word for solstice is grianstad – which translates as ‘sun stop’.

The sun takes an aspect of stillness as it ponders its next move.

No wonder this is the time of the year when people tend to be introspective, cast oracles, consider past decisions… and then make resolutions about how they want to progress into the next season.

Merry Solstice everyone! May you have light, warmth, and friendship today.