Tag: solstice

A Light in the Darkness


The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
– Isaiah 9:2

The Winter Solstice is my favorite day of the year. It is hard to put into words the awesome wonder I feel when the night has been lit up with tiny pricks of candle light. All over the United States, homes and city squares are lit up to decorate the night. How inviting even a simple street light is in the dark.

The Nesting Instinct


I love it down here on the farm. Some days, not so much, it’s true. Mostly, those are the days when I start out with a handful of prophylactic Advil or Aleve, and then hie myself down to the barn for a day of shoveling, or perhaps sheep-shearing, or down the field with my little chainsaw to cut up the tree that fell on the fence, or some other messy, back-breaking, usually quite organic endeavor that I used to think of as (what the Brits like to call) a “doddle,” but which, now I’m old and–family word–“becrepid”, somehow isn’t quite so easy anymore.

Early this week, it was reorganizing the hay bales in the barn into a FIFO arrangement so that the ones that were “First In”–those leftover from the winter–will be accessible to go “First Out” in November or December of this year. We had a mild winter, so quite a bit of hay left over. Got it done. (Yay! I can, still, just about, get the bales stacked five high–they’re about 50lbs each.) And yesterday, Clayton brought us 200 new bales, so the barn is full of hay. Cross that off the list.

Weekend upcoming is the sheep shearing. Really late this year, because of life, and rain. I’ve had them in the barn for a week and managed to get one done last Sunday. But something’s wrong with my shears, and by the end of it they were so hot I thought that either they’d seize up, or I’d end up with third-degree burns. They’re 30+ years old, so they don’t owe me anything. Found a new pair online. Ordered them up, second-day delivery. Yay! Again. They’ll be here Tuesday. Tuesday came, and so did my package.

Advent Gratitude: The Liturgical Year Begins as Darkness Grows


shutterstock_251257738“the glory is fallen out of / the sky the last immortal / leaf / is // dead and the gold / year / a formal spasm / in the // dust / this is the passing of all shining things” … into the night so dark no night could be darker than, the cold so cold, no cold could be colder than; the journey through “The mile still left when all have reached / Their tether’s end: that mile / Where the Child lies hid.”

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overmaster it. But neither has light overmastered the darkness: lights do not shine in darkness unless darkness predominates; when there’s mostly light, we see the darkness as residual shadows, not as the ambient state.

Darkness is in one sense the enemy of God, of Christ who is Light, whose dawn at Easter irreparably shatters the dark of death and hell, the light of the eighth, eternal day, shining for all days before and after:

Member Post


Over all the north, tonight will be the darkest evening of the year. The darkness of winter brings cold, an absence of light sensed not with the eyes or even with skin alone, but in the very bones. What it is about dark of winter that makes what light there is more compelling? The stars […]

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