Before we retired to the South Florida tropics seven years ago, we lived in the Northeast, where shorter days meant colder days from the fall right into midwinter. My head doesn’t quite understand how the temperature stays mild here as twilight takes over before we’re quite ready for it.

We shine a light on the darkest days of the year

Nonetheless, this week marks the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. We light up the dark with Christmas lights, with blazing fires, with candles in the windows and LEDs in the palm trees.

The shortest day of the year ushers in the winter, but it also marks the beginning of the sun’s return from its northern-most latitude. The days will gradually lengthen even as the cold grips the north, just as, in summer, they shorten as summer heat rises. There’s a certain beauty to the balance in nature.

We have voted out the dark trump administration

It seems fitting that the final weeks of the Trump administration should be the darkest of this awful year as the self-absorbed loser spins his web of lies in a dim corner of the White House. The election of Joe Biden was the promise of relief, and his presence on the national stage these past seven weeks has been a salve of leadership for our ravaged country.

brighter days are around the corner

As winter arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, the devastation is interwoven with a promise that darkness may not last forever: The day the death toll in the United States passed 300,000 was also the day the country began inoculating healthcare workers.

Elisabeth Dias, writing in The New York Times

The darkest day is behind us. The sun has begun its return. It will have marched toward the equator for thirty days by the time of the Biden inauguration, giving the new administration a few extra minutes of daylight in which to work for us. The rays will shine longer and stronger as the coronavirus vaccine makes its way across the country. Eventually, we will all be in shirtsleeves and flip flops. With our masks.

Here is one of my favorite Christmas carols, In the Bleak Midwinter. The lyrics were composed by the English poet Christina Rossetti in the late 1800’s for Scribner’s Monthly, and the melody was added by Gustav Holt.

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