Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dark of winter...

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.


13 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

your photos are beautiful. winter is beautiful when you have light. :)

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Lydia Martin said...

Those are some awesome photos Barb! I feel the same way about winter....too bad about the freezing rain tho...I like to stand under the stars on a winter's night and just soak in the quiet and the close feeling of the giant snow blanket...lovely blog post!

Sandra said...

your photos show winter in all it's glory and is is beautiful. and you are blessed to live where you love it...I am where i love it, bright and sunny and rarely a dark day. i spent my entire childhood suffering from fear of the dark. and i think that is why i love sunny Florida. it is good we have people who love dark and love light or both. or we would all be crowded in one place... the song is truly beautiful... waiting to see more of your winter beauty. just had a thought, you would be happy in Alaska... snow, cold, dark and months of dark...

barbara l. hale said...

I think I would be okay in Alaska...or better yet, northern Scotland. But my better half would have none of that.

Pamela Gordon said...

Your photos are beautiful. It will be a very short day here as it's cloudy, foggy, expecting ice pellets and then a snow storm tomorrow. I'll be glad when we see a difference in the daylight in late January. I need the sunlight.

Pam :) said...

The lyrics to the song are heartwarming and lovely. As are your beautiful winter images.

Mary said...

Gorgeous photos Barbara! :) I don't mind the winter much. But i admit i prefer the sunny, bright, sparkling New England winter of my youth to the dark, overcast, rainy winter of my Oregon adulthood. lol. But today i can't complain.. it's beautiful, sunny sky and 50 degrees! Happy Solstice!

Nicki said...

So beautifully written and illustrated. I truly believe that my body needs the dark days just as it needs the Vitamin D and nourishment it gets from the warm sunny ones. My mind is in complete agreement. The bitter cold brings a refreshing appreciation of the scorching heat.

Happy Winter Solstice Barb.

The Furry Gnome said...

Beautiful images; nice hymn. And the days WILL start getting longer tomorrow.

Nancy Claeys said...

Appreciated the wise words of winter... I believe everything needs a bit of a rest this time of year. Lovely photo Barb. Merry Christmas!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

The words of this hymn are beautiful and show the lovely side of darkness. I love wintertime, too. I do love the lights of Christmas shining in the darkness. But this reminds me of the beauty of the dark. Thank you for sharing.

Stratoz said...

Beautiful light in these photos. Have you noticed that the happiest nations are nations that are far to the north with long winters.