It's that time of the year. Nope, I'm not thinking of the hustling and bustling, of the hunt for the perfect gift, of decking the halls, and the like. What's on my mind is that it's dark. It's that time when I leave the house in the dark, and often don't get home until after it's dark again.
Each year, I'm a little more prepared for this. I know what's coming as the long, warm days of summer give way to long shadows. On sunny days, I've noticed the quality of the light changing. In my bag, I have exchanged the long-sleeved shirt I carry around in defense of enthusiastic air-conditioners for the woolen hat and the mittens that help advancing winter nippiness at bay. I know that, as of today, the in-breath of the shortening light will yield to breathing out once again.
There's another week and a half before we turn the page to a new calendar year. But, today feels like that new beginning. I feel the renewal, the recharge, the energy to say "there was much left undone, let it be, and move forward."
Indeed, there is so much going on during this "dead" of winter! The compost piles which were, just a few weeks ago, so full that they would not contain one more leaf, have shrunken down impressively. I see fresh rounds of hairy bittercress sprouting up in the garden. The flowering tops of the Autumn Joy Sedum are done, but when I look closely underneath, I can already see new leaves.
The seed catalogs are out, and I'm anticipating the planting season. My "food club ladies" and I are exchanging growing notes and experiences as our friendships grow deeper over conversations about veggie varieties, sustainability, and preparedness.
Solstice blessings to you, gentle readers!
Down with darkness, up with light,
Up with sunshine, down with night,
Each of us is one small light.
But together we shine bright.
Go away darkest, blackest night.
Go away, give way to light.
[ Hear the tune ]