Friday, December 23, 2011

Out of darkest December ...

And, with the Winter Solstice, into the light.

Very gradually into the light.  It will be weeks before I notice a slight lengthening of the daylight, and it will feel like a tease.  Day will be longer, but the ground will still be frozen and, potentially, snow-covered.

There are homey comforts to be enjoyed in winter, of course: sitting with dogs by the fire, being snowed in on a workday, Christmas Eve in church, a hot mug of spicy herbal tea.

But December has sometimes been a hard month at my house.  Sixteen years ago I said farewell to my mom, Ruth Ann,  at her funeral on December 20th, as a snowstorm raged (now wasn't that fun!).  And on the 19th of this December, we said goodbye to my mother-in-law, Grace.  Fortunately this time, there was snow on the ground only, not piling up around us.

So I have reason to dislike December. Clearly, I have difficulty keeping in mind the message of Christmas: it's hard, but it will pass; the Lord is Emanuel; He is here. Fear not.

Fear not, said the angels.

OK, I'm trying.

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