Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Coming of the Light

Solstice sunset with Buffleheads

Suddenly it's here, this tide-turning solstice where daylight inches its way back to us. For the first time ever, the months of darkness didn't seem to matter to me. But not necessarily for the right reasons. The past month I've rarely gone out of the house in the dark since it's impossible to leave my mom alone. And I've kind of had my own dark mood going on, so the dark outside was just one big meh. It's only just now, a couple of hours before the calendar flips to tomorrow that I even realized it was the solstice. Which is a round about way of saying that the darkness didn't really get to me this year the way it has in the past. And even if it was for the wrong reasons, it seems okay in a way.

Here's what's different:

I've gone to bed really early and actually gone to sleep many nights before 9:00 p.m. Supposedly, this is what humans are meant to do when the days are short. It certainly has felt right to me. And by going to sleep so early, I'm always up by sunrise which is just plain good for the soul.

Also, I'm not drinking any alcohol unless there's someone else here in the house with my mom and me. So that means no drinking Sunday through Thursday usually. Why has it been so damn hard for me to grasp the fact that alcohol is a depressant and just plain not good for me when I am struggling?

When grief is a big thing in your life, the smaller challenges seem, well, smaller. Or I suppose they could seem the fact that they don't is really good, right?

So here I am sitting in my living room in the dark, the Christmas tree doing its job as a symbol of light and life. M put up our outside Christmas lights this weekend and they are casting a lovely glow on the patio and the lighted tree is reflected in the patio window, making it seems as if it's both places at once. It's unbelievably pretty and quiet here. Well, my mom's in her room shouting in her sleep, but as unsettling as that might seem, she is not shouting in pain, she's just dreaming.

Detail of our Christmas tree with the snowflakes my mom has crocheted
So I'm content and happy. Seizing one of those rare moments when I am actually able to grasp for more than a second that I'm responsible for creating that for myself. That there's light inside me all of the time and that light is not at the mercy of the sun.

I'm really pretty thrilled at the way that everything has worked out. That I was dumped by the ex-husband and got to meet Dan. That my mother came to live with me and has spent two and a half years here in this beautiful place watching the birds and getting to spend more time with my daughters and my son and his family. And that we'll all be together over the holidays. Well, not Dan. But yes, him too in a way. His light still shines. I can see it.


A said...

What a beautiful post. And crocheted snowflakes.

lily cedar said...

Your mom's snowflakes are truly beautiful. You sound good. Have a wonderful Christmas. Sending hugs.

Ms. Moon said...

I am so glad you had this moment, at least, of Solstice peace.

Andrea said...

A perfect honoring of the light, its recession and its return. The whole of it. The holiness. Thank you, Denise. Beautiful.

Bella Rum said...

What a peaceful moment for you. Your patio shot is beautiful. Enjoy.

37paddington said...

A blessed moment. The patio photo is just beautiful. As are your words.