Today marks winter solstice, the day where the hours of darkness outnumber those of daylight. As a girl born on summer solstice, winter solstice brings a certain amount of melancholy. It reminds me of how quickly time has passed, how fleeting those golden summer days are, how slowly time seems to move in these winter months.
And nature’s marking of time causes me to look back and reflect. Today, I’m remembering where I was just six months ago: feasting with friends at a backyard dinner party, tables in the grass, talking and laughing. Feeling loved, enjoying my summer birthday. And my dad was there.
Six months later, my world has changed. Dad won’t be here with me on Christmas, or next summer birthday. He left this earth in October, an in-between time, not fully summer, not fully winter. I miss him. Such an inadequate way to express the depth of emotions. But I have the hope of seeing him again one day.
As hard as it is to celebrate this Christmas season, it is a season of hope. And this keeps me going. I have confidence that the light will return: slowly, imperceptibly, timidly. The darkness will be pushed back, and we can play a part in that. The spreading of light at candlelight services on Christmas Eve–a favorite family tradition–paints a beautiful picture of light overcoming darkness.
So this is what keeps me going. I’ll keep seeking the light, remembering that after this long night passes, the rhythms of nature will bring change again. The light will return. Days will lengthen, our spirits will be lifted. Of this we can be sure.
Wishing you hope, peace and love this holiday season.