The longest night

In Inspiration

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.



  1. Thinking of you on this solstice — it is so hard to lose a parent, and it takes time to grieve. I’m thinking of my dad, who we lost when he was 60, the age I am now. I feel him like the wind at my back, filling my sails, steering me along. I hope you can feel that too.(and from you photo, it looks like he’s doing just that!). xo

  2. Leslie, The photograph you’ve shared is one that I am sure will remain in my memory, marked by a simple observation. The sweet way your father sits in the background mimicking the action of blowing out the birthday candles is the hallmark of love, the love we feel for our own children. One of the greatest gifts of a long life is perspective. And we come to see that we never stop parenting our children in some way, and if we are lucky, we learn to parent ourselves, too. I think often of how much I am like my own father, gone now 20 years, and I can see that you are like yours. And we are lit from within because of their love. Thank you for sharing this piece of your story.

  3. Yes! The first thing I noticed was the way your father was mimicking you blowing out your candles. What a beautiful memory. Holding you in the light and darkness of this winter solstice. Wishing you comfort and time to sit with your loss. I am so sorry for you loss.

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