Ah, the holiday season.
It helps to bring in the long, cold winter without so much dread: the storing of fat to be burned off next spring (and summer and fall), the parties and gatherings with family and friends to celebrate, the bright lights and cheery packages being exchanged.
But my favorite part of this season is the solstice, which promises the light will come back and with it, my energy level and ambition. I left the tree lights on last night and will do so again tonight to help quell the dark of the shortest day of the year. Today brings with it the promise that longer days, more energy and ambition will help me accomplish more. It’s all an illusion, of course. There are no more hours in a day, just more light hours. The diet will begin in a few days, so I’ll be fighting against my body’s desire to continue packing on the fat. And it will be months before the daylight hours will make enough of a difference to truly note it.
But it is a new beginning with real meaning.
I have long wondered why the new year doesn’t correlate with the solstice. The timing of the new year has nothing to do with anything tangible besides a paper calendar. Our lives revolve around the sun just as our planet does.
So, I guess the calendar doesn’t really matter. What matters right now is that the days will no longer continue to be shorter, the nights longer. Today is the bottom of the cycle and this year it is mostly sunny and beautiful in spite of being so cold this morning that the old, blind rooster didn’t rouse when I reached in to give him food and fresh, warm water. Now, midmorning already, the sun is above the mountains and warming the world around me. The magnificence of this world is gleaming in the light of the shortest day of the year. And (no, I’m not ignoring what the rest of the winter will bring) it can only get better from here.