How was your Thanksgiving? I hope it was peaceful and safe. My household (two humans and a dog) had a surprisingly heartwarming few days: a delicious meal shared virtually with our local son and his sweetie, zoom calls with faraway family, a glorious birthday beach walk, and an impromptu concert on the back deck. The connections were what gave meaning to this holiday.
And suddenly it's December. The winter holidays are on the threshold. They always show up! At my house, familiar customs -- greens, lights, a tree -- push through Covid fog. I've pulled out Christmas recipes and find myself lingering over scratchy handwritten addenda from past decades when times were "normal." I'm endlessly grateful for the cycle of the seasons and the comfort of traditions.
Days are short. Rosie and I take our afternoon walks earlier and earlier. For the next three weeks we'll watch the light grow dimmer as we approach the shortest day, and then, the light will return.
The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper And so the Shortest Day came and the year died And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world Came people singing, dancing, To drive the dark away. They lighted candles in the winter trees; They hung their homes with evergreen; They burned beseeching fires all night long To keep the year alive. And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake They shouted, revelling. Through all the frosty ages you can hear them Echoing behind us - listen! All the long echoes, sing the same delight, This Shortest Day, As promise wakens in the sleeping land: They carol, feast, give thanks, And dearly love their friends, And hope for peace. And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.