Today is winter solstice (I love that word) and we’re finally at the point where all the days going forward will be slightly longer than the last. Winter is a hard time for me – I miss the sun terribly and the dark, grey days wear at my soul. I long for sun-saturated landscapes where I can be outside and winters in the Midwest don’t quite meet up to that expectation. There’s beauty to be sure in this season, I just have to look harder for it and remember that brighter days are ahead.
In the meantime, my coping mechanism with winter is to have as many twinkle lights as possible in the house. I’ve been enjoying decorating for winter this week and adding in “just a few more lights”. Right now I have 4 sets in my view and several more are on in the kitchen.
A few years ago my brother and I watched a Dr. Who Christmas special which was a variation on the Christmas Carol. I don’t remember the name of the episode, but Dr. Who narrated through the beginning about how special winter solstice and Christmas were and that its celebration was a way of saying “Congratulations – you’re halfway out of the dark”. The phrase tied in nicely with the storyline of an older hardened man’s redemption and characterized his growth through the episode too. That phrase became very meaningful to me as I pondered how true it is on a variety of levels. Christmas season is a time when we celebrate the Light of the World coming to dwell with us. Since watching that episode I’ve thought of Christmas as God’s way of telling us that we’re halfway out of the dark. He’s coming to light our way home.
So tonight on the darkest night of the year, I’m surrounding myself with lights, drinking hot chocolate, and watching Polar Express. I’m giving my heart space and silence to marvel at the mystery that God became flesh and dwells with us. I’m searching for the ordinary miracles that winter brings and the beauty to be found in this season – like the birds twittering at the feeders, the snowflakes, and the occasional days of sunshine.
Happy winter solstice everyone! I hope that this season is a peaceful and joyful one for you. And let’s celebrate that we’re halfway out of the dark.
Blessings to you,