Monday, December 21, 2009
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
December 21: the shortest day of the year, the longest night.
In the northern reaches of the country that I call home, it's a frequent complaint that the long hours of darkness weigh heavily on us. Dark before work, dark coming home. Shadows dog our steps and send us scurrying to bed at hours that feel much too early.
I'd like to suggest that the Winter Solstice, rather than haunting us, offers a vital clue to our existence. Though welcome, light, sun, energy drive us on relentlessly, push us into our busy lives, our too-full days.
The dark is a call to retreat from the world. We tuck into our houses, curl up in heavy blankets. We long to sleep and the darkness calls us to our beds.
The long night isn't something to fear. We rarely take the time to be still, to recuperate, to rest. Perhaps Mother Nature is doing us a favor by wrapping us in night, forcing us to step away from the frenetic pace of life and slumber. Dreaming sweet dreams, becoming anew.