The woods are noticeably hushed, the hunters and treckers having departed and the skiers having not yet arrived. Only the chirp of the occasional bird, usually a Chick-a-dee, and the whining of the wind in the treetops disturb the growing silence. The stillness holds an edgy sense of anticipation, of imminence.
At home, the holiday lights festoon the front porch and the tree is up and lit, awaiting decorations. The Chanukah Menorah sits on the table before the front window. In the back yard, a mixed flock of small birds is having breakfast at the feeder.
As we approach the new year the dark lengthens, daylight becoming increasingly dear. By 3:30 in the afternoon dusk is already settling in. Yet, we have nearly reached the point where the trend reverses; soon the days will lengthen. By Christmas Day the change will be tangible.
The season holds both festivity and longing, expectation and uncertainty. We celebrate and wait. What do we await? Gifts? The returning light? The presence of the Ineffable? The child we once were?
At this time in the great cycle of the Earth’s year, what do you hold dear? What do you await?