Thursday, December 6, 2018

Welcoming Light into the Darkness

How did it get so late so soon? 
Its night before its afternoon. 
December is here before its June. 
My goodness how the time has flewn. 
How did it get so late so soon?
-      Dr. Seuss

For eons throughout history, the onset of winter – and specifically the month of December – demoralized otherwise contented folks. To inject some comfort into the short days and long, black nights, people created ways to bring light into the darkness.

Physical light is one way to banish the darkness. Long before electric lights, candles and lamps heartened homes. Nowadays holiday lights illuminate our lives throughout the month. 

Activities can also brighten our lives. Our ancestors devised celebrations to inject cheer into otherwise morose days. Holiday preparations - cooking and baking, shopping, decorating, family and friend get-togethers - allow us to pass the time in (what are hopefully) positive pursuits. Rather than feeling depressed, wasting time spending time in couch potato mode, activity helps dispel winter bleakness. 

We have an advantage over our ancestors who somehow managed to get through the dark time year after year, for thousands of years, without the conveniences we luxuriate in today. They read books by candlelight, sewed and needlepointed, talked to each other (now there’s an old-fashioned activity!). We can waste time indulge for endless hours in electronic gadgets galore. 

All is not dreary once the holiday month morphs into the new year. Drape yourself in a blanket, settle in with a mug of hot tea or coffee or perhaps something stronger, open the first of a pile of books sitting on your shelf yearning to be read, and before you know it spring will be (almost) here.

Or binge watch one of the numerous series friends rave about, but you haven’t got around to viewing.

Or pack a bag and take an extended trip to a warm locale offering hours of daylight.

Or succumb to the TV and that hot mug of something. Which brings us to one of the banes of modern society – 24/7 news. Viewing can be addictive. There should be a warning when tuning in: Caution:“Watching 24/7 news channels may be hazardous to your health. Specifically your mental health.”The onset of winter blues may compel us to wallow in this mindless activity. If you catch yourself watching, immediately cease and resist – if you can.

So grab that hot mug of something along with your favorite comfort food, wrap yourself in a warm hoodie-footie, and allow winter to lull you into semi-hibernation.

There will be plenty of time to work off those extra pounds next spring.
The first snow of the season.

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