The darkest and longest nights of the year are happening now, at the end of December. Although our ancient ancestors had many names for these days, we call them the Winter Solstice.
In the tales of Northern European peoples, the three figures in red are called Norns: Urd represents What Has Happened, Verdandi personifies the Now, and Skuld is the agent of What Will Be. Like the Fates in Greek stories, they are maidens, and they embody the most powerful forces in nature. Even gods must obey.
In the painting, dusk approaches and they gather at a well. The deepest roots of life come from wells like this one, deeper than churches, deeper than trees, deeper than Decembers. What they say to one another no one knows. I like to imagine, on this cusp of a new year, with days of longer sunlight coming, that they wish peace for all of us, who live in a world where peace is often difficult to find.