As the song goes, dear reader, ‘tis the season once again. December’s holidays of light are upon us with their resonant symbols — the star in the East; the candle-oil that burned for eight days; the longest night of the year that heralds dawn. Apart from Christmas, Hanukkah and the Solstice, there are no doubt less familiar markers of this midwinter passage. I’m happy to honour all names given to this dark, interior season with its promise of hope and light.
Having been through my cynical phase — groaning over shopping-mall Santas and tinned music and a census in the reign of Caesar Augustus that hasn’t a scrap of evidence to prove it happened — I sense something new. Between these extremes of commercialism and piety, there is mystery as the earth turns, the sun returns and life dances at the tip of a cosmic match. Here we are, by some unaccountable wonder, strung across the 21st-century darkness like new stars igniting, luminous nodes in the web that connects us. Although we live with so much sorrow in our world, hope still moves us to reach out to each other, and it’s hope that we celebrate this season.
Many thanks to all of you for following and commenting on this blog over the past year. However you may honour the return of light, may the New Year bring hope and connection to us all.