photo: christmas rose detail from stained glass window

Sunny, but not too bright. A walk outside, just Jenny and me, is an antidote
to all the strains of the past few days. Here, finally, I find Christmas.

It’s the same bleak winter landscape, but somehow it looks more
promising. The bare trees, the brown grasses today reveal their
potential. Under lumps of snow, under the lake’s smooth sheet of
ice, plants gather their strength, and I believe I can see it –
a slight swelling, a suppleness that I missed before. Even when
everything’s frozen I can tell what’s alive.

I was also going to say something about the meaning of our darkest
days (in the northern hemisphere, at least) coming at the same time
that we are closest to the sun, but it turns out,
after a little reading,
that this is just a coincidence. In another ten thousand years or
so, our closest approach to the sun (perihelion) will come at
the time of the summer solstice – something to look forward to,
no doubt :-).