Wet Christmas

And then, when it seemed darkest, the SUN did rise after all,
and she knew that SPRING would come again.

The funny thing about the winter solstice is that it doesn’t all happen at once. I mean, yes, there is one day marked on the calendar, officially – either the shortest day or the longest night – but the earliest sunset, at least in my location, is usually a few days before then, and it will take a week or more for the sunrise to start creeping backward into the morning. For now, the sunrise is “stuck” as late as it comes, about 7:15 in the morning, and sunset is just past 4 pm.

When there’s any sun at all.

It’s been wet, this December. Wet and raw and unpleasantly cold, without being cold enough for all this water to come down as snow, and while I like to crack wise about not having to shovel rain, all the mud and battered brownish grass is depressing. And it is dark, so dark at night, without snow cover to reflect whatever light there is.

If the long range forecast holds true, we might, might get some snow next Tuesday. I am not holding my breath. It’s not forecast to slip below freezing again until Sunday night.

I write a lot about the local weather, but this December has been unseasonably warm. I like to joke that we used up our entire 2015 allotment of snow back in February, but the combination of off-year weather patterns and a degree or two of global warming has shifted the view outside my window from a classic Christmas postcard to a sorry, sodden mess.

At least we don’t have to shovel it.

I am likely to be scarce from blogging through the end of the year. Classwork and church work have absorbed most of my writing and reflection time – the piece I’m preaching Sunday is turning out more like a blog post than a sermon, but I have to preach something and so I will take what the Spirit sends me and let it be good enough. Maybe it will show up here later. Or maybe it will get repurposed into something for class in January. It is hard to believe that I need to leave for Chicago again in just two weeks.

The image below is from a few years back, but I’ve added the text that I used on a couple of solstice cards this winter:

Black foreground with tree silhouette, golden sky with purple clouds. Tiny sliver of sun peeking over horizon. Text in high contrast letters "And then, when it seemed darkest, the sun did rise after all, and she knew that spring would come again."

A blessed Solstice, a Merry Christmas, and if I’m not back to the blog before then, a happy and prosperous New Year to all.

May it be so.

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