Hope

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, which is celebrated as the official marking of winter and a pagan holiday. Yet December 21st is also the shortest day of the year. We receive the least amount of daylight annually on this day. This sounds grim, but there is a sacredness to it. I look forward to this day each year, because what comes after is a blessing. Everyday from here till the summer solstice we will gain 2 minutes and 8 seconds of sunlight a day. This may seem minimal, but it adds up. This day for me symbolizes hope.

I watch my dog Bella in our library this afternoon, and she has been pivoting positions on the couch to follow the sun’s rays. She knows how medicinal the sun is, even if it is felt through a window pane. I watch how the sun sets on her body, before she changes locations on the couch and does this all over again. Feeling the sun for a few hours, there is warmth and hope. This is particularly true in the dreary British months.

In the midst of a pandemic and the craziness of 2020, feeling momentary sunlight on one’s face is so refreshing. Knowing that we will get a little more each day reminds me the worst is behind. There is something to look forward to. More sun.

We go through this process each year of Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer. The cycles of life are packed into these twelve months. Intellectually we know what to expect next, but each season still seems to surprise us. We may have experienced 40 winters, but for some reason, this is one is unique. This may be said with each passing season, but there is truth to it. Each season, each moment should be embraced for it’s unique nature. As we officially transition from fall to winter tomorrow, and enter into the holiday season (quarantines and all), may we find the smallest bits of joy that arise in our days. My wish is for you to connect to a thread of hope that will carry you through towards a sunnier tomorrow.

“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.” — Henry David Thoreau

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