A few weeks ago while out on an “early” morning walk to see the sunrise, I happened upon my neighbor. We commented on the short days, and how frustrating it is to try to fit in outdoor activities when there are so few non-work hours of daylight.
“I am so happy when December 21st comes around,” she said, “it’s my favorite day of the year!”
I couldn’t understand her rationale, and I responded with, “But it’s the shortest day of the year, it’s my least favorite! If it weren’t for all the Christmas tree lights, I’d go crazy!”
“That’s it exactly!” she said. “It’s the shortest day, and every day after that means that it is going to be longer. June 21st is my saddest day because I know it is all downhill from there.”
I laughed. “June 21st is my favorite—because I know we get the most sunlight and we can be out to enjoy it!”
She thought for only the briefest of moments and countered back immediately: “Living in the moment! I like that. I should try it!”
This was probably a month ago now, and yet, it’s been rolling around in my head since then. Yes, my June 21st happiness does mean I live in the moment—on June 21st. What about this moment, this December 21st day?
I’ve spent a bit of today trying to figure out how to “celebrate” the winter solstice. The only thing I didn’t want to do was to light a candle and sit quietly–while silently seething that it was not still light out.
I came up with a few more ideas, but they are not workable. It’s too busy of a time of year to schedule much of anything, even with my own family… it’s too stressful to pull off last minute things with friends… and, this year, too dangerous to socialize, except outside, where it’s dark and cold.
In the end, it seems best to just embrace the longest, darkest night of the year. I’ll snuggle into a chair near the fire, Christmas tree lights twinkling in front of me, I-pad in hand with the latest Christmas book on its screen and a cup of raspberry tea by my side.
A silver lining of readjusting my attitude seems to the best way to honor the lessons of 2020.