Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


First Day July … a Solstice celebration

Amazing when the sun comes up over Spring Bay and I’m up and about and drawn to it for photo opportunities. In particular, it is most impressive when it rises through cloud and illuminates the shadows of the night with incandescent brilliance. On the shortest day of the year, June 21, the Winter Solstice beckons as a beacon not just for photo ops but to that arcane spirit within us all.

I am the only person on the pathway above the bay to watch its rise and to muse on the magic of the message in the sun and its silent rise to its dominance in our heavens. It is above and beyond the collective follies of humankind that takes this grand Lord Orb for granted. It was here for our birth and will be there when we wipe ourselves from Mother Earth.

It transcends the chatter and clatter of we lice who have infested modern civilization with our meaningless importances and this day seems to be harumphing at our universal apathy at sleeping through its solstice dawning and not celebrating it as once the ancients did.

Solstice is Latin for Sol and sistere, to stand still and that’s what I’m doing, frozen in awe of its grandeur as I await the perfect time to take that first snap.Got it! I snap away, thinking of the ancients who worshipped it as kids might have played with gargantuan Stonehenge dominoes. The spell is broken by a man and his dog, regular visitors to this beach. Sea birds scatter in panic as it races amongst them. The sun frowns behind a large cloud and I head home. My wife is up and a cuppa placed before me as I transfer the images into my laptop.

“Why up so early?”

“It’s the Winter Solstice. Getting some shots of the sun coming up. Beautiful.”

“Don’t you have enough of them already?”

“Shortest day today dear.”

“Good, I can’t wait for summer.”

“Summer? I hate it. People, dogs, cars … noise.”

“I’ve heard it all before, dear. Your tea’s getting cold.”

– Extract from Briar Earth (Paul’s first foray into fiction) …

He wheeled about and dipped his wings to the sun…and cleansed his soul with a piercing screech, heralding the dawn. The sun-tide had begun its rush through the valley so far below him. What a profound sight! He never tired of the glory of the sunrise. The immense authority of the mighty sun!

“Good morning, Lord Orb,” he screeched again, his shrill cry rattling the crystal calm.

This was Eego’s dawn game. Screech the shadows of the valley away. Serve the Sun. He watched the massive wave of incandescent light roll across the landscape. It was on its Divine mission to exterminate every trace of the night world. His screeching intensified into a continuous cry of praise for the power of the sun and the power of the eagle. A warning to the world below: beware the Eagle feeds on the dawn.

“Beware below… beware…! The shadow of the Eagle is everywhere!”

Hundreds of feet below, his mate craned to find a mere speck in the heavens and sighed to her fledgelings.

“If I hear that just once more…I think I’ll screech!”










Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Leonard Colquhoun

    July 18, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    It seems that only ourselves and our NZ cousins use the firsts of March, June, September and December as official change-of-season’ days. (Some sources include [northern] Russia.) Most others use the dates of solstices and equinoxes – see link below for you-beaut table).

    Lots of interesting stuff in this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season#Australasian_seasons . Thank you, Melbourne University History & Philosophy of Science Department for engendering this interest way back in the 1960s!

  2. paul tapp

    July 4, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    Claire at 2. You might recall the words of photographer Lord Snowdon that Tassie had the clearest light for photography than anywhere in the world.Pity our elected to the biggest sinecure in the world don’t understand that beauty … can’t withstand the onslaught of ignorance that doesn’t appreciate it.

  3. Claire Gilmour

    July 3, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Always the best time for a good hot curry!

    And Broome thought they were the only ones with a staircase highway … to a light …
    Well done Paul.
    The near bottom of the world shines many a bright light …

  4. Clive Stott

    July 2, 2017 at 4:58 am

    Nice to see Paul. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top