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In the bleak mid-winter

I intensely dislike these final few days before winter solstice.  I was going to say I hate them, but someone told me I should be very careful about using that word because of the negative energy it carries.  So, OK, intensely dislike.  It feels like a gift that was given to me in the summer is being stolen back, bit by bit, as I lose more and more daylight.  I awaken disoriented, sure it must be 7 a.m., then discover it’s only 5, and for some reason going back to sleep is impossible.  And seriously, what’s there to do at five in the morning?

How the ancients must have feared this draining away of the light and wondered what sacrifice would appease the gods and persuade them to give it back.  How many blood sacrifices were made before they discovered, oops! just get past December 21st and you’ll be fine!  Bet there were a lot of red faces when that little tidbit was discovered.

But enough with the gloomies!  My life is so good!  This time of the year, what the church calls the Advent season, the time of waiting, brings with it its own glories and joys.  The tree is up and lit every evening, a beautiful shimmering sign that darkness is not final; light endures.  The cards are written, gifts purchased and mailed.  We’re putting the final touches on our Christmas Cantata, and this year we have more voices in the choir than we’ve ever had!  And somehow I’ve even found time to write a few more poems for the Magdalene series.  (I reckon it’s about half finished now.)

The light will come back.  The days will lengthen and warm.  Spring will return.  But in the meantime, it’s such a blessing to stand with friends in the candlelight, and recall once again how the darkness was vanquished by a child’s cry in the night.

Merry Advent, everyone!

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