Tuesday, December 10, 2013
An Ode to the Dark Days
I wander your moonlit arroyos and thank you for the stars.
They are sharp as cut crystal this time of year.
Your cold pierces my skin and tugs at the heat lighting my body.
You are strongest in what we call December, and offer gifts to those who listen.
I want to see you alone. That way you can tell me about the patience and vulnerability of stones.
They crack with frost but are not afraid to sleep for a time with a frozen heart.
I am not a stone, but can still learn from them.
All seasons carry lessons, and yours is the most strange, but also my favorite.
The best thing about this season of human light is you.
It is because of you that I can see the stars, be reminded all I do not know.
We of this Earth sometimes fear your unknowable expanse, your eternity, infinity, mystery.
But this narrow window of long desert night is also a delicacy, a rare and wonderful delight. I want to hide out with you, curl up close, light a fire, get a hot drink, cover with a quilt, and descend into you.
You bring gifts as wonderful and precious as the light's, but yours speak a language of sleep, dreams, and shadow.
You show me treasures invisible in the day.
You have weight, press down on me, and are at home in the world inside.
You infuse my dreams with brilliance and clarity, and I want to sleep, or maybe even hibernate.
This is time to open doors usually locked, to find the truth of fire.
You frighten people and push them to gather and to light up houses with sparkling LEDs and trees that stay green.
Our rituals reflect the effects of shortened days, longer nights, colder winds.
The need to lean on others, I have to confess, makes me a little less ornery, a little more patient, a little more inclined to share a drink or a meal.
I am not moved so much by the "Holiday Season," though.
The music, shopping, and intensity of frenetic partying does nothing for me. I find it grates against what you bring and the quiet of the wolf hours.
So for this season, I will take time to gaze at your midnight mirror, to inscribe, to gather energy that comes from rest, and to curl up with your timeless, generous, incomprehensible expanse, your ease with emptiness and deep space.
I will sit with you, the dark, and invite you to sing your soulful tune as we whisper to each other in the language beyond words.
I will try to love you no less than the light.