Standing outside at night, even here in sunny Northern California, at this time of the year something reaches me across all the time that has gone before.
The cold reaches me. The darkness reaches me. The silence reaches me.
The nights may be getting shorter, but I lack the markers used five thousand years ago in Ireland to let the people know the light was returning.
And so I am left with the dark.
But I have the stories. The stories told in so many lands, in so many tongues, of darkness driven out by returning light. The stories of my own religious tradition of the heralding of a new era by a blazing light in the sky.
The stories from the traditions of my race of the light returning after its absence, of new life being possible.
The stories that are true, in the truest sense of the term. For they tell us what has been told in so many ways, in so many places, in so many traditions — Light has shone in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
And even in our darkest days, we, this hopeful we that we are, know this to be true.
The blessings of this holy, healing, wholesome time of year be with you.