I found this picture on Bonita's Flitzy Phoebe Blog. It's sentimental - and I love it. The artist was David Farquarson 1747 - 1821. He was Scottish and therefore livied in latitudes well north of Ohio - he too was very familiar with long, cold winter nights. What draws me to this picture is the trust the gentle animals place in the approaching man as he carries their fodder to where they patiently wait in the wan light of a winter's afternoon - their faith in beneficence.
What might otherwise be a bleak canvas is illuminated not only by the diminished solstice sun, but by the connection between the stooped human figure and the beings in his care. For a more recent recording of that same late-in-the-year sun - check Casey's wonderful photo.
Emerging from a bit of a rough stretch I've been contemplating the concepts of connections and trust. They are as precious as the dilute but welcome December sun that streams low through the bare trees in my back yard.