What is Joyful About Living in Darkness?

On Winter Solstice the sun rose at 7:09 a.m. and set at 3:45 p.m, marking Maine’s shortest day. The clock still ticked through 24 hours, but we groped around in the dark for most of them.

Darkness has gotten a bad reputation; associated with evil, fear, and gloom.

Apparently I’m missing some depressed brain cells, because living in darkness brings me joy.

Couple Having Dinner With Wine Glass On Table

Courtesy depositphotos.com/AndreyPopov; edits by author

For my fellow humans who suffer from seasonal affective depressive disorder this post cannot help you. Your condition is serious, and you need to seek medical attention, sit under a light, and take a pill.

Having stated this disclaimer, my comments may assist those who are not clinically depressed, but find more things to whine about this time of year.

Concerning wine, have you noticed how much earlier 5:00 seems to arrive? Ahhh, the pleasure of sipping a glass of wine, swaddled in an L.L. Bean blanket, wearing multiple layers.

Concerning layers, have you noticed how winter wardrobes hide a few extra pounds? Like a fresh snowfall, you know there is something under those smooth, glistening bumps, but you really aren’t sure what. You find yourself scoffing at the bathroom scale as you linger in front of the mirror.

Concerning mirrors and other glass surfaces, have you noticed how smudges and streaks are invisible without sun shining on or through them? Good news! You can pack glass-cleaning supplies in the back of the closet, along with your tank tops.

Concerning cleaning, have you noticed how hard it is to see dust and dirt on furniture and floors this time of year? Remember dust bunnies? They used to scurry all over the house before we became obsessed with vacuuming, and they are so adorable.

Concerning bunnies, do you know what is the most popular birth date in America? September 16. Do I need to do the math for you, or is it obvious what has gone on in December?

These dark days include celebrations like Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus and New Year’s. Let’s not get so caught up in these big events, that we neglect the little things that hold life’s greatest pleasures.

Because come June and July when the sun is high in the sky, and daylight lasts an eternity, there will be no hiding from the dust, the streaks and the cellulite.

Treasure these dark, abundant days while they last.

What do you appreciate about darkness? What brings you joy during dim winter days?

Molly Stevens

About Molly Stevens

Molly Stevens arrived late to the writing desk but is forever grateful her second act took this direction instead of adult tricycle racing or hoarding cats. She was raised on a potato farm in northern Maine, where she wore a snowsuit over both her Halloween costume and her Easter dress.