Friday, December 23, 2011

The Darkest Evening of the Year

"As the wheel of days turns into darkness, it reveals the light and hope of spring."

- Loreena McKennitt

I don't know if it is because of the time of year, what with the new year coming, or if it is the absolute and sudden pause in what I previously thought was important to return to what is truly important (family and home, since that is where I find my quickening when the hectic day at work is done), but I find myself increasingly contemplative this time each year.

The shortest day of the year was yesterday. And it felt even shorter than it was due to the leaden skies that broke only briefly, allowing the sun to peer down at us before a torrent of rain hit. And last night was the longest night of the year, and it felt as such. But the new day dawned, and though there is still a heavy layer of clouds, they are more broken up. Syd is feeling better, I still have a full week of relaxation remaining, and the shortest day is beginning to lengthen.

I had quite the mental list of things I wanted to accomplish during the two weeks I am off from school. As of now, one full week in to my break, nearly nothing on that list is done. The thing is, very little of my list was school related. I find, though, that I am so much less concerned with what I had planned to accomplish. Instead, I'm finding myself entirely successful in other ways - things that weren't on my list that I had forgotten about, things that took precedence from my original plans, things that are simply more FUN, like coloring with Syd and baking, and cooking, and wrapping (and unwrapping) presents, and watching cute holiday themed shows, and the list goes on.

My priorities have shifted. I can't help but think that that is the most important gift I have given myself - I've allowed myself to let go of worries and embrace the spirit of this time of year. Rather than sitting down with a list of goals for the new year, I would rather continue with this mindset and enjoy my time here. Syd will be this age only once. My family will be right HERE only once.

The woods are lovely. They are dark and they are deep. I pray I will be able to retain this mindset, since I have miles to go before I sleep. My idea of what I need to accomplish has shifted. My promises have shifted. Promises to myself; to my family; to my friends and to my students. I would like to think in that order. Miles of promises to keep. Now, if it would only just snow...

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