We know they are coming, those longer nights. We know we will lose the sun. We string lights and burn candles and celebrate to chase away the enveloping dark. We know it is here. And yet we are startled, worried, surprised at the lingering darkness in the morning. Repeated glances at the clock to make sure of the time. To anchor us in our routines. Our commitments. Our lives.
The first night after the darkest night of the year is one of relief and celebration. So I’ve heard. But in the morning after that darkest night, when the tilt of the earth has barely, hardly, doubtfully welcomed the sun a moment earlier, I wonder. Or perhaps I worry. Will the dark push back, refuse to budge, revolt against the promise of the sun? What if Dawn has grown weary of bringing hope? What if we haven’t earned another go around? What if, what if we are just not worth it.
And then, like emerging from a cloud of grief, like waking from a paralyzing dream, like choosing forgiveness, like saying no, Dawn slowly, firmly shrugs off the night and refuses to be overcome. She begins the cycle anew, not asking or caring if we will join her.