Winter solstice: glorious start to shortest day

 Barbara Wolak of Cootamundra travels to Austinmer Beach to  worship at the rising of the sun on the day of the winter solstice.  Pictures: KIRK GILMOUR
Barbara Wolak of Cootamundra travels to Austinmer Beach to worship at the rising of the sun on the day of the winter solstice. Pictures: KIRK GILMOUR
With some of her crystals in June 2012.

With some of her crystals in June 2012.

Enveloped by dust in September 2009.

Enveloped by dust in September 2009.

Barbara Wolak believes she was guided by a spiritual force to Austinmer Beach yesterday morning, where she witnessed this glorious beginning to the year’s shortest day.

Ms Wolak, 59, who lives on a property near Young in the state’s south-west, brought her crystals to Austinmer for yesterday’s winter solstice, a time which she believes can unleash a new sense of caring for our planet.

There she encountered the very same Mercury photographer, Kirk Gilmour, whom she had met at that beach on the spring equinox in 2009 - a day which locals remember for the red dust storm which covered much of eastern NSW.

It was a chance meeting but one which strengthened Ms Wolak’s belief that things happen for a reason.

‘‘Your paper is the messenger,’’ she said. ‘‘You are Mercury, the messenger of god.’’

In this case, the reason was the ability for her to spread her message - that this is a time of empowerment to clean up the world.

‘‘This solstice is like activating that cleansing, helping humanity to overcome negativity,’’ she said.

‘‘We are actually becoming aware of our planet - it is in need for us to start taking care of it, not destroy it.’’

Yesterday, the sun made a late appearance and left early - rising at 7am and setting at 4.54pm.