Not to be dramatic or anything, but I call this time of year The Solstice of the Soul.
The runup to the shortest day is heralded by 4:30 p.m. sunsets, cloud-pocked skies and barren trees. Everything seems to be dying, including the light, and I find myself turning inward, hibernating, contemplating the chill of endings as the sun turns its back.
And yet in the midst of darkness and conclusion are the buds of new starts. Advent. The promise of longer days. A new year shimmering with possibility.
It feels familiar.
For me, this year has been a series of endings and beginnings. Dark and light. Doors closing, windows opening. You know the drill.
In some ways, I feel like a character in one of my own books. I’m at the three-quarters mark in the story, The Dark Night of the Soul when all seems lost, but is really on the brink of being found, reclaimed or rediscovered. If it’s the kind of story that’s going to end happily, that is.
So as the solstice approaches, I’m looking ahead to After when there’s more light and life. Here’s a short list of things I’m eagerly anticipating in the weeks and months ahead:
- Accidentally auditioning for “Baking Disasters” with this year’s batch of ruined Christmas cookies
- Trimming the tree with kid-crafted items that are basically hunks of cardboard held together by globs of glitter
- Drinking wassail while listening to Sting-based Christmas songs
- Making unrealistic New Year’s resolutions, like creating a new TikTok dance sensation or stifling the urge to correct errant apostrophes
- Making New Year’s resolutions I might be able to keep, like eating more tacos or not tilting my head when I listen (like the RCA dog)
- Kicking 2021 to the curb
- Welcoming 2022 like Robert Plant to a cozy dinner for two where he’ll serenade me and feed me tacos (see #5)
- Turning (mumbles age)
- Seeing my eldest graduate
- Seeing my youngest perform chiropractic-inducing acro stunts
- Working on my next book
- Finishing my next book
- Celebrating the other solstice
- Complaining about hot weather
- Spending as much time as possible with the people I love
How about you, dearest friends? How are the short days treating you? What are you looking forward to in the days to come?
*Photo by Tobias Bju00f8rkli on Pexels.com