There are few causes for celebration greater than the return of daylight. Yesterday marked the beginning of the Winter Solstice, and today we shall cheer, “we survived the darkest day!”

Meanwhile, the sun has kept up its valiant attempt to break through the morning’s constant clouds. I noticed my walking speed slowed in response whenever a ray touched my shoulder.

Winter's long shadows
Winter’s long shadows

With Winter upon us now, I think about the strange contradictions of the season (some outlined in Phyllis’s poetic comment on December 19). It is a hurried time: rush from house to car, dash through snow (as the song goes), never linger in the chill for long. Yet, it is a slow time: cuddle by the fire, curl up in hibernation, the amphibian’s heart rate nearly stalled.

Like sleep, darkness promises rejuvenation at dawn. Today the gears are shifted from reverse toward sleep to forward into revival. It’s impossible not to be grateful today.

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