Perhaps it isn't the bleak midwinter yet, given that winter doesn't even start for a couple more days, but it is bleak—dark in the mornings and dark in the afternoon. I am convinced that is why we love to festoon our homes with lights this time of year. Christmas, I suppose, has a lot to do with it, but really I think it is a primitive yearning for light that gives those seasonal decorations their ability to so fill our eyes and hearts with such sensual joy.
The lack of winter light is the one thing that I do not love about our home in Oregon. I remember snow-covered, bitterly cold days in Idaho when the sun would shine so intensely that the whole world sparkled like crystals. You could breathe in shards of light and ice that crackled in your lungs. Perhaps it was not so bracing as I remember, but on dark, foggy days I remember those brilliant winter days with clarity and longing. So I light candles and sit in front of the Christmas tree and absorb what light I can.
We are taking the train to Tacoma tomorrow for a short getaway. Good food and a visit to the Glass Museum. Tonight I learned that there is an exhibit of Mexican Folk Art at the Art Museum. Could not be better. Puget Sound, glass, Mexican art—should reflect enough light to get us by through the Solstice.