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, reveling.
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.
Photo by Jedediah Berry, Amherst, MA
I thought I’d be experiencing silence on this dark, solstice night. But outside thunder rumbles in the dark, while rain pelts the windows. There will probably be no snow this Christmas.
Inside, the Christmas tree – with no lights or trimmings – stands in a corner in the living room. Hanukkah candles offer a small, wavering light, which will grow as the week goes on.
Winter officially begins, even as we are about to slowly see more daylight.
This has been an intense year for me, because I was given a gift which is slowly bringing into focus the areas of my life where I wish to use my energy. That gift is a “live-in-the-moment” way of being, acknowledging what is and moving on from there, one step in front of another.
The Christmas tree has not been trimmed because my youngest daughter is eager to do it with me when she arrives tomorrow. It will be a delight to be with two of my three grown children. Hopefully I’ll see my eldest daughter and my grandchildren in late winter or spring.
Here’s more light, in the form of light humor. My Jewish brother-in-law sent the following Hanukkah greeting:
Top 5 Hanukkah Songs That Never Quite Caught On
5. “Oy To The World”
4. “Bubbie Got Run Over By A Reindeer”
3. “Matzo Man” by The Lower East Side Village People
2. “Come On, Baby, Light My Menorah”
And the #1 Hanukkah song that never quite caught on…
1. “Silent Night? I Should Be So Fortunate!”
Today is the day for the annual Sacrifice of the Balsam. (Click for last season’s post.)
As we searched on this beautiful winter morning, the sun shone in blue skies; then in early afternoon some clouds moved in. The sun behind the clouds looked like a full moon.
We came home with a fragrant balsam.