I know that the sun has been setting earlier for the last 3 months or so, but at this time of year it seems to be getting dark by 2pm! Do you feel that too? Am I imagining this, are the shadows tricking me, do the bare trees have anything to do with this?
When I think of our ancestors (the very early ones, not those who came through Ellis Island) I can imagine their fear and trembling as darkness closes in earlier each day: What if this continues? Is the world ending? Will we be living in eternal darkness from now on?
Stevie Wonder’s song would just not be the same – You are the blackhole of my life!? Sunkist oranges would have to settle for a peck from something else. Sun showers, sun dials, sun block, Sunday – all would become antiquated, just bright spots in our history books.
In response to the increasing darkness, our ancestors would gather together, light fires, sing and shout and feast with loved ones like the world was ending. None of which is so different from what we do today, lighting candles on our menorahs, hanging lights on our Christmas trees, singing holiday songs and gorging ourselves on meals surrounded by family.
So as we approach the darkest day of the year – the winter solstice on December 22nd – make sure to take time to brighten your world and gather with loved ones. While we might not think (as our ancestors did) that our festivities can actually bring back the sun, we can know that gathering together and singing into the night helps get us through the darkest time of the year. And before we know it, on December 23rd, the days will start to get longer, the amount of sunlight will increase, and we won’t have to start ordering our eggs ‘dark-side down’ instead of ‘sunny-side up’!