All the holidays of the cold season that involve lights are very satisfying to me. At this time of year, when I am doing chores some days in the dark both morning and night, coming in to light the Hanukkah candles or to the tree and twinkle lights, just makes everything seem a little better, just a little brighter. Not so dark. I become obsessed with sunrise and sunset times as the autumn wears through to winter, checking weather websites and listening raptly to our Channel 6 weathercasters like they are prophets. It must be a totally primal or genetic thing. Of course I realize that the farming life makes the weather a very personal thing at any point in the year, but at this season it seems even more so.
Of course, this time of year also fills me with all kinds of joy, hope and gratitude: seed catalogs and pregnant sheep and goats to tend until it’s almost spring, and then new life appears, bouncy and fresh. That, family, friends, music, good food and a warm house help to keep the dark away. And then who can beat those really cold, clear nights when we are feeding sheep their hay on the snow-covered ground and the sky is full of the winter constellations, clear and bright.
So we surround ourselves with greenery, like the holly from my good friend Jolly (thanks again Jolly!). And then, who can resist smiling when they see this face? Another blessing on any day of the year.