solstice light


there was a day, one or two before solstice, in which the clouds greyed and spat halfheartedly, and then for a moment the sun fought a path through before being swallowed by gravity. the small ones wore blue, because blue is the complement color to the yellow light of sunset. as if a photographer planned it … no, they wore blue because they own blue.

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much is written about the dark of solstice, that consuming dark which draws us into our homes and hearts. the enveloping, terrifying dark of a world rehearsing its own death. the contemplative dark of a world awaiting an advent. the rejected dark of a world punctuated with fluorescence.


but what of the light of solstice? the cold, brave rays that bring the lines of the world into sharp relief? the tenacious light, bearing witness to the power of tenacious hope? this light that, like a flickering candle, cuts through the darkness of space, the darkness of the universe, flaming an ode to the enjoyment of the present?

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we tolerate the light of summer, but we glory in the light of winter. the light of summer is ubiquitous, but the light of winter is a gift. a gift like the december bloom of a japanese quince pruned out of season.


that evening, surprised by light, we worked …


and played …


and basked …


and marveled …

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and learned …


and laughed at this face …


and then, the gift of solstice light slipped away. too dark to photograph, too dark to work, too dark to play, and we rested.


the light of winter solstice, like the candles of advent, reminds us not to give up. it reminds us to keep working and playing and laughing even when it looks like darkness will win. our bodies are bundled against the cold, but the light of advent draws our gaze and warms our faces.

it is that light, tenuous and sparkling, that gives us “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

happy solstice.


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