Some people like this time of year. They say it's cozy. Others, like me, feel heavy and dark inside. I double up on my vitamin D, take a homeopathic supplement, and turn on a lightbox for half an hour every morning. Even then, it's a long slog through this time of year in the darkness. Even though I know it's coming, it's a shroud on my spirit.
And yet, here we are in the holiday season. We have lights and little ornaments on our artificial ficus and a small LED-lit tree in our bay window. Last year's live tree spent the season in a pot in our living room; it's now planted along our walkway and festive with lights. We have 22 stockings hung on the banister - including one for our potbellied pig, Bud, who passed away over a year ago at the age of 18. This week I have family visiting, with a small, laughter-filled gathering last night over a lovely shrimp pasta dish, and another larger one this afternoon.
We are honoring Art's daughter Laura and her new husband Brian with a holiday gathering attended by both sides of her family. Laura's mother Nancy and I have collaborated on the planning. It will be a festive, fun day. Next weekend we'll host several of our children and grandchildren at a family dinner and generic gift exchange. And then our holiday season home events will be finished until we welcome our 12-year-old granddaughters on December 26 for their annual holiday visit.
Yesterday, Art and I went to the funeral of an elderly neighbor. Once again we were sitting in a church - a place we rarely go these days except for weddings and funerals. Years ago I was a liturgical musician, and this Advent season was a busy one for us as we prepared for the coming of the Light. Those songs still reside in my spirit, and yesterday I sang one of them at the funeral. I noted I can still read music after all these years.
"The music of the spheres" is a phrase from a hymn I remember from my childhood. It seems to me that this season of darkness and light is all a part of it. The music, that is.
On January 1 we leave for Tucson and the sun.