days merry and bright

“More evident from high latitudes, a hemisphere’s winter solstice occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest.The winter solstice itself lasts only a moment in time, so other terms are used for the day on which it occurs, such as “midwinter”, or “the shortest day”. For the same reason, it should not be confused with “the first day of winter” or “the start of winter” (Lidong in the East Asian calendars). The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days…

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but many cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.”

I’ve been on the struggle bus this holiday season, and as the days have gone on I’ve seen a few of my friends filing on board with me. It’s not a conscious sadness; it’s more the pervasive pressure of Happiness All Around that makes me feel like it’s more under scrutiny and thus more expected. Lights! Trees! Presents! Food! Music! Are you happy yet??! Well for God’s sake WHY NOT?

I think I’d prefer to just observe the solstice this year, the knowledge that the world always tilts back eventually, the simple appreciation of the balance between light and dark.

One of my colleagues sent my (very small) department to a spa afternoon earlier this week and it’s a luxurious joy to have a pretty manicure, and glowing skin from a facial & massage. Unfortunately, the spa was in the basement of a grand Detroit casino and hotel, and my tolerance for casinos has completely faded since the days where I got married in one. Just walking through the land of smoke and slot machines, a world where time never seems to go anywhere, made me feel uneasy and oppressed by the weight of thousands of unmet expectations.

I saw this quote on Facebook the other day, and loved it.

1472893_10151818820831378_992612685_nI think it’s my new mantra for 2014.

Otherwise, I am just looking for small moments of peace in the days, and trying to soak up the people and the things that fill my bucket, as my baby girl would say. It turns out there are lots of them. Not just in my own life, but in the blogs I read and the feeds I love on Instagram.

12.2013_CollageIt’s raining today, and there are winter weather warnings all over the state. I wouldn’t get near a big box store or the mall to save my life today. So it may just be a walk downtown to investigate the little knitting shop to see if I can buy local.