THE LONGEST NIGHT
The passing of the Winter Solstice means
Winter has really set in. The shortest day has past and very,
very slowly the days will lengthen in sunlight hours. But until
then we have many days of cold, grey skies, fog, and rain ahead.
For some people Winter brings the blues,
or a feeling of sadness and slight depression. For some it deepens
into Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). They want to pull the
blankets over their heads and hibernate until Spring, just like
our ancestors did. So what's the problem with a little melancholy,
with a little introspection and contemplation over the Winter
months? Nothing's wrong with it, it's just that we don't like
matching our moods with the weather. The leaves fall off trees
and we see bare branches. We see the essence of the trees. So
it could be with our character as we are stripped of our leaves.
Life has a way of paring us to the bone: a death, a trauma, loss
of a job, financial strife, ill health or relationship failures
could reveal the true essence of who we are. We could be facing
the Winter, the long night of our soul.
I'm thankful for the Winter season.
A season of little growth, of rest to the earth as well as to
my soul. The sap still flows under the roots of the trees and
of our lives. The life force is still slowly building up ready
In the middle of writing this I wheeled
outside to see what signs of life were about on a chilly afternoon.
A young boy sped along on his skate-board, almost running into
me. A young Asian girl with a violin in a bag on her back, waited
at the bus stop. A young couple in shorts and tank tops pounded
past, huffing and puffing, oblivious to the chill. And an old
couple rugged up in jackets and scarves wandered along to the
café for their afternoon hot coffee. Life goes on as usual
in the pale sunlight.
I came inside and laughed at the "funniest
home videos" on TV, and felt refreshed and reassured that
all is well with the world. In the depth of Winter we hunker
down and wait, wait for season to turn to the longest day.
"God is light, and in Him there
is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5