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.


  1. Ah, yes, the Winter Solstice. I've always wanted to have a party on the Winter Solstice. I can just envision the invitations... they'd be such a switch from the normal Christmas party invites. But how did it get to be Dec. 21st already??? I don't mind the dark this time of year because it gives me an excuse to turn on my outdoor Christmas tree earlier. Christmas lights hold the night at bay. I think that was the original intent of candles on the tree. I love living in the north country. I get so sick of people bragging about Florida and Arizonia et al. I wouldn't give two shakes of my dog's tail for those places. Living in a swamp? A Desert? Bah humbug!

    I was mulling over my answers to this Blog Tag game when I decided to be distracted by my blogging friends. Have you been tagged already? (I think everyone I know has.) If not consider yourself it.

  2. we don't celebrate Winter Solstice here. Actually, this week was the first time I ever heard of it! Winter at night is beautiful (:

  3. We don't celebrate Winter Solstice here, but it sounds lovely.

  4. This reminds me of a fortune cookie that said "Before you can see the light, you must deal with the darkness."

  5. I've been so busy today with all the news that I'd forgotten completely it was Solstice. Not a dark day for me! =)

  6. You made me sleepy, wanting to tuck into my house, get under a blanket! *yawns* Happy Winter Soltice, all!