Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice

Although I am a Christian, I always like to give a spiritual nod to the shortest day of the year. I light a candle, and this year I spent a few minutes (very few, with this arctic wind we have going right now) standing in my little garden, contemplating what life for my ancestors must have been like. Imagine if we had to grow all of our food, then worry that it wouldn't last until spring. Imagine how absolutely frightening the midwinter must have been, with nothing growing, and the sun seemingly dropping ever lower. Imagine wondering if that sun was ever going to come back.

Call it what you will, this season. Call it Christmas, or "the Holidays" or New Years or Hogmany or Yule or Hannukuh. Call it what you will, but whatever it is we need it. We need respite, a time of peace and prayer, a time to reflect, and a time to count our blessings. And even in a clinical way, we need green things and pretty lights, if only to cheer our collective seasonal blues. I always think of the solstice as "little Thanksgiving" and today I spent some time thinking how marvelous it is that I have all I need, and for that I thank the Lord.

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