This is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
Did you know that dark nights is becoming a scarce commodity and a sought-after luxury? Light pollution is making it near impossible to enjoy the night sky with its stars and planets, milky way and shooting stars.
My father used to teach me the names of the constellations and the planets. He was a man of few words, and he never ever called me on the telephone, except for really important occasions. Like to let me know that Jupiter would be visible in the south-west night sky close to Mars at 19.37PM and he wanted to remind me to go outside and look up.
For many years, the standard Christmas present from my father was an almanac (this was before the internet was invented) so that I could know the waxing and waning of the moon and the comings and goings of the planets.
I miss my father. But I kind of feel connected to him whenever I go out and look up at the night sky and recite the names of the constellations.