It's coming (but not what you might think)

One of my favorite days of the year is coming, certainly my favorite day of the season, and it's not the one that you might think. It's not Christmas, nice in its own way. It's not New Year's Eve, since for me the year runs on an academic cycle beginning in September and runs through the following summer. It's not even Hanukkah, past I know, but closer in spirit to what I'm talking about since it is also called the Festival of Lights. Give up? It's the Winter Solstice, the evening before the daylight begins to creep back in the "right" direction, even if it's only by a few minutes a day. I have never been a night owl, though I hear there are many of you out there, but for me it's all about the light. Perhaps it was growing up on Cape Cod, where the light is better and more lovely than any I've yet seen (generations of artists have agreed); perhaps it's that with the light comes the warmth, which I also cherish; or perhaps it's simply the celebration of something so elemental and ancient as the turning of the Earth on its axis in relation to the sun, rather than the commercial frenzy that the other winter holidays have become that appeals to me. In any case, and maybe it's for all those reasons at once, I slog through the weeks when the clock falls back until the light comes again. There are so many other references to light in this season: the "great light" in the Old Testament, the "star in the east" in the New, and on a more pedestrian but also charming level, the proliferation of lights on people's houses and in their yards this time of year, to me signaling the coming of the great light, faith of whatever sort appeals to you aside. Enjoy the season of light, as I will when I drive past house after lit house, and then we can all move one day at a time closer to the best light, the summer light, of course, summer girl that I am.
Dawn, from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

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