Today is the winter solstice, which means Annapolis only gets 9 ½ hours of light between sunrise and sunset–and the night is longer than any other time of the year. If you think of the seasons as a ride on a Ferris wheel (which I do), this means that today I am at the very top, soiling myself (because I am afraid of heights and all amusement park rides) as the rickety old thing stops to let more people on and my excited two-year-old (true story) rocks back and forth (“Wee!”), screaming “Binky!” which she dropped by my shoe and wants me to pick up.
Translation: I do not like winter. And I’m afraid of the dark.
But today I celebrate! Because as of tomorrow my days get longer, and I start descending from that scary place at the top of the Ferris wheel.
It’s not a coincidence that Christmas, Hanukkah, and other winter holidays are full of symbols of light. People have always honored and ritualized the victory of light over darkness on the days surrounding the winter solstice. What’s not to like about the advent of warmer weather (if it’s not due to global warming) and signs of life (tree sprouts, tulips, carnivals with Ferris wheels) all around.
Like many people who suffer from depression, I wither in the winter. Which is why I force Springtime by sitting under a mammoth HappyLite and running my six daily miles with lots of layers.
Tonight’s long night means my dawn is that much closer.