Sunday, 22 June 2014

Winter Solstice

The winter solstice occurred Saturday 21 June here in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the natural turning point of the year as the days now start getting longer. Spring and summer is on its way . However, the winter is yet not over but the mere hint of the turning when the sun, at its northern point in the sky peaks and starts moving back south, heralding longer days, is eagerly waited.

In the Northern Hemisphere, it is known as the summer solstice and rings in the official start of summer. 

Winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

Solstice celebrations.


As I dream about the warmer days, I'm re-posting a summer entry to prepare myself for the lazy days coinciding with our extended holidays and festive season, where swimming is a natural pastime........

The water is invigorating and when I go during the day, the sun's rays warm my body and sparkle over the water, inviting me to dive and push against its force, the controlled environment comforting yet stifling as I leverage my body into a pencil-shaped position.

Against the wall at the deep end, I push down easily touching the bottom of the pool with my feet, only to spring upwards quickly. I angle my head so my face is the first part of my body to break through the water. My hair gets plastered to my head, not only away from my face and out of my eyes but also because this action makes me feel confident, it makes me feel confident and in control, knowing my hair is plastered in an orderly way. In this second, I embrace the sensuous interaction with the water as it meets my face and I break through its barrier and its droplets fall away and I open my eyes and feel alive. 

I tread water and position my body behind the diving block so as to take advantage of the sunlight coming through a single portion of the glassed ceiling. A cloud moves away and the sun shines brightly. From my view, it is in an otherwise cloudless, blue sky. I lift my face and close my eyes soaking up the tingling, warm sensation of the sun's rays; light feathery movements dance across my skin. In that brief moment I am motionless and weightless, making gentle ripples across the water with my hand maintaining balance and buoyancy.

I am nowhere except in that moment, in that space behind the diving block, in public, yet in solitude. I hear nothing except the slapping of the water on my skin and I drink in the moment with only my breathing to remind me of my existence.

Time presses me and I reluctantly shake my head and open my eyes before pushing out from the wall breaking into a survival back stroke swim, with a kicking action like a frog on its back. I swim enjoying the steady rhythm as my arms push under the water like paddles, in sync with the outward movements of my legs and head to the shallow end of the pool, conscious of the time, commitments and responsibilities, giving order to my day.


  1. Hi, Allie-Millie! Your memories triggered mine. I have always come alive in the water - indoor pools, outdoor pools, lakes and the sea. The phenomenon you observed, the rays of the sun sparkling on the water, is also a favorite flashback of mine. When I was ten my parents installed a large above ground pool in our back yard. I loved spending time floating face down on a raft whilst gazing at the sunlight dancing on the rippling wavelets. It was mesmerizing and totally relaxing. I did the same as you, using my legs to spring off the side or the bottom and slip rapidly through the water like a sea creature. I always felt at home in the water and many of my happiest memories lead back to it.

    Thank you for this absorbing post, dear friend Allie-Millie. I hope you are enjoying your Sunday and that you will have a safe and happy week ahead!

  2. Hi Shady Del Knight,

    I am pleased you enjoyed the post and you could relate it to your own experiences! I await your upcoming posts @ Shady Del Music & Memories :) - in anticipation yours @ writing the rapids, Allie-Millie