Happy Winter Solstice

Of course, happy summer to my friends in Australia, Brazil, South Africa and other locations south of the equator.

One of my Persian friends posted a picture on Facebook about their traditional observance of the longest night of the year. Candles, special foods, reading traditional poetry. Cool. That surely beats grumbling about the dark and cold.

We moved 150 miles (241 km) north last spring. That means the nights are even longer than back home.

But we don’t really know. With the pandemic settled in for the season, we hardly go outside anyway.

Some people don’t like the dark. I wonder at times if we convince ourselves that we must be depressed with the dark because everyone says we should be. Enough people are depressed that psychologists have come up with a name, that means a diagnosis, that means treatment (and a fee).

But we know from recent history that the days will start lengthening. Ancient peoples could tell for sure that they had turned the corner four days later. Therefore the celebrations four days later, the day we call December 25. The celebrations that the Christians co-opted and turned into a feast day, a celebration of a new birth.

Use the darkness to settle in, slow down, read, play games, contemplate the fire in your fake fireplace. Use these few weeks to recharge in order to greet the end of the pandemic with renewed energy. Change your attitude from discouragement to celebration, like my friend, the Persians.

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