The Long Darkness
It’s coming soon. Midwinter. The longest hours of darkness all year. The fewest hours of sunlight.
The hours vary from place to place. New York City, for example, will have 9 hours, 15 minutes of sunlight on winter solstice, whereas its summer solstice will give them 15 hours, 5 minutes of sunlight.
The winter solstice happens when the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the sun.
But what happens with us at midwinter?
Are winters of the soul our longest hours of darkness, too?
What happens when we turn away from the Son?
Why Winter Solstice Makes Me Happy
I don’t like the long, cold darkness of winter. I prefer hot, sunny days when I can go barefooted and wear t-shirts and shorts. I’m comfortable in ease.
But winter solstice brings me joy in a unique way. Why?
Because I know the next day will bring more light. We’ll have turned a corner. And the day after that? Even more light.
There can only be one darkest day. Other days may still be dark, but they’re not as dark as the darkest.
We can celebrate winter solstice as a time of hope. It signals a time to rest. To release old things. To look ahead to new things.
To turn back to the Light.
The Light of Christmas
On the darkest day, use the darkness to pray, to reflect to meditate.
Outer darkness does not imply inner darkness.
At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of true Light. Jesus lit up the world then; he still lights it up in us today.
May the Light inside you burn brightly as we turn to brighter days ahead.
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
– Albert Camus
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Do you like winter? How do you fight the lessening of light? Please share in the comments.
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