Random Musings on The Longest Night of the Year

The Night Book

The Night Book | Credit: iStockPhoto.com | Click to embiggen

They say that spring will come again
No one knows exactly when.
Still the sun’s a long lost friend
On the longest night of the year.

We didn’t actually see the sun until the late afternoon today, because we woke up to thick cloud cover and heavy, fat raindrops that plummeted to the ground with satisfying splashes.

I don’t mind. I’m one of the few that loves the dark mornings and long twilights that come at the deepest part of the year.

We stare into the firelight
While December beats outside
Where the darkest hearts reside
On the longest night of the year

Fuzzy and I spent the day mostly together. We slept late, celebrated being together again after his week-long business trip to Utah, lingered in bed listening to the rain.

We finally crawled out of the warm covers because the dogs insisted it was time to get up. How they knew, when we didn’t, remains a mystery to me. I guess they have some inner time clock that alerts them to things like dawn, dusk, and dinnertime.

So keep me safe and hold me tight
Let the candle burn all night
Tomorrow welcome back the night
It was longest night of the year

After dropping our foster dogs (Madison and Marco) and our foster-housemate (Ben) at PetCo, we came back to the house, listened to the holiday extravaganza episode of “Ask Me Another” on NPR, and made a grocery list of essential things for getting through the next ten days.

I meant to buy votives, and forgot…I’m pretty sure I have tapers and tea-lights. I love candles, but ever since Yankee Candle changed their default sample size from a normal votive to a tartlet, I haven’t been buying many.

I used to think the world was small
Bright and shining like a ball
Seems I don’t know much at all
On the longest night of the year

We came home again, unloaded the groceries, and had sandwiches. I did some writing; Fuzzy dealt with an issue in Hong Kong, and then it was back to PetCo to pick up all three of our strays.

We press our faces to the glass
And see our little lives go past
Wave to shadows that we cast
On the longest night of the year

Foster dogs always look so confused when you drop them off at adoption fair. Their eyes tell the story. “I thought I HAD a home,” they seem to say. If I could, I would keep them all.

Well, maybe not ALL of them.

But a good many.

So keep me safe and hold me tight,
Let the candle burn all night,
Tomorrow welcome back the light.
‘Twas the longest night of the year

Tomorrow – today, almost – is the last Sunday in advent. So fast, this year has gone. I accomplished some lovely little things, but none of the big things I had hoped for. Baby steps? Maybe.

Sometimes I think the things I’m keeping safe are the very things I need to send out into the world.

Make a vow when Solstice comes:
To find the Light in everyone
Keep the faith and bang the drum
On the longest night of the year

I’m sitting at my kitchen table. My kitchen smells like cinnamon and chocolate, but under it there’s the scent of sleeping dog and the twin aromas of love and hope.

I don’t have a candle lit, but there’s a wreath in front of me with three votives.

If they were lit, they would burn for the past – the people who influenced me, loved me, guided me.

They would burn for the present – even though we’re in a state of extreme, if temporary, cash-poverty, the bills are paid, the house is full of food, the dogs are well cared for, and we are all mostly happy.

They would burn for the future – for the words as yet unspoken, the stories yet to be written or told. For the dreams we keep on dreaming, and for the connection we have, Fuzzy and me, to each other, to our friends and families, and to the world as a whole.

So keep me safe and hold me tight,
Let the candle burn all night,
Tomorrow welcome back the light.
After the longest night of the year

“The Longest Night of the Year” was written (music and lyrics) by Mary Chapin Carpenter.

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One thought on “Random Musings on The Longest Night of the Year

  1. Few people can paint a picture of a moment as richly as you. I don’t think I’ll ever look at candles of any form in quite the same way again. And as I stare out the window at a growing ice storm and listen to a snoring schnauzer dream of whatever it is that schnauzers dream about – I’m sure it’s happy – I think of the things I’ve sent out into the world this year, and the things still yet to be sent.

    Writers are never really done, in that regard. There’s always something more to share, another story to tell. I’m glad you continue to tell your stories, and I’m glad I popped in this morning to reconnect.
    Carmi recently posted..On making the most out of 18 yearsMy Profile

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