We’ve had a break from all the clouds, torrential rain, intermittent hail and nights of snow – so I went for a run.
At this time of the year, the sun is low at 4:30 in the afternoon and sets only 20 minutes later. It casts long, reaching shadows from its last point of illumination above the ridge of the Jura range.
Barely nine hours of sunlight, the fingers of time drawing ever closer until they meet at the Northern Hemisphere winter solstice at 5:28 p.m. on Dec. 21.
It’s been a long year of upheaval, much of it political and environmental.
Some of it has been personal, though – breaking both wrists on a hike certainly put into perspective how much conscious effort the small things require when they are thrown into relief by not being able to do them on one’s own. Slicing bread, washing hair, turning a key in a lock, all the little things I take for granted on a daily basis. I am still relearning some basic movements, watching my limbs strain to regain their previous strength and flexibility after weeks of casts and months of recovery.
That sense of seeing the importance of the little things has taken place on a larger scale, as well. With forces around the world seeming to focus on many aspects of life we have taken for granted, sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.
This final week before the solstice is always one of my favorite times of the year. The summer and autumnal marathon to ever-lengthening nights comes in to its final stretch, and I know the finish line is just up ahead. Soon, no matter how cold the winter, the days are going to get longer again. There will be more light to work by, and there is so much work to be done.
Meanwhile, this early evening path, just at the moment before the sun went down, reminds me that there is so much light in the space between the shadows.