I don’t have Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD as it is called, so I have to admit that I don’t really understand it. I don’t dismiss it, but I don’t understand it. You see, I have always liked winter. I find a blue winter sky dazzling, new fallen snow beautiful, the cold refreshing and the darkness comforting.
Today in the northern hemisphere, we celebrate the Winter Solstice. It is the shortest day of our year. But tomorrow on schedule, the earth will begin its steady tilt toward the sun and the days will begin to get longer. It’s as it should be.
This time of year makes me think of one of my favorite hymns, which was written by Unitarian Universalist Shelley Jackson Denham who passed away earlier this year sadly. This hymn called Dark of Winter. It has a lovely meditative melody that I can actually sing in my way, but it is the text that I really love. It was written to portray a positive image of night and darkness, which after all, is as necessary and natural as the light of day. I think it has special meaning on this shortest day of the year.
Dark of Winter
by Shelley Jackson Denham
Dark of winter, soft and still, your quiet calm surrounds me.
Let my thoughts go where they will, ease my mind profoundly
And then my soul will sing a song, a blessed song of love eternal.
Gentle darkness, soft and still, bring your quiet to me.
Darkness, soothe my weary eyes, that I may see more clearly.
When my heart with sorrow cries, comfort and caress me.
And then my soul may hear a voice, a still, small voice of love eternal.
Darkness, when my fears arise, let your peace flow through me.
I wish you peace on this Winter Solstice. Blessed be.