The Dark Months

We’re in the midst of the dark months.

It’s dark when I go to work in the morning; it’s dark when I come home. The only time I have the pleasure of seeing the birds at the feeders in my yard is on the weekends when I’m not rushing around doing those weekend activities that must be done whether it’s dark or not. There was a time I struggled through these months, when I battled the sense of melancholy that came upon me. Sometimes it’s been easier to give in to a depression during these dark months.

But I’m finding more and more to be thankful for this year. Perhaps it’s a product of embracing my own aging, and all that goes with it, that is allowing me to find moments of gratitude during the dark months this year. Last night I lay awake listening to the steady breathing of my husband and the comical snoring of one of my dogs and considered simple and small things to be thankful for, things I may not notice all the time.

  • Flannel sheets. What could be cozier than snuggling under flannel sheets and a cotton quilt while the rain pelts down on the skylight in the ensuite?
  • Cozy slippers. For the most part I prefer to be barefoot but my husband suggested I purchase pair of comfy slippers when we were shopping a few weeks ago. Every time I slide my feet into them I’m reminded of how he loves and cares for me.
  • The interior of my home. In the warm, light months we are outside much of the time; in the hot months we come inside only to sleep. There isn’t much opportunity to inhabit the inside of my home. It’s nice to curl up on the sofa in front of the fireplace with a dog on my lap and a book in my hand.
  • Squash. I may be in the minority but I like the taste of winter squash. Delicata, butternut, acorn, hubbard, I don’t think I’ve ever met a squash I didn’t like.
  • Frozen peaches. Those peaches I put down in the summer taste absolutely heavenly baked in a peach crisp this time of year.
  • Mandarin oranges. I’m trying hard to be a locavore and eat locally-produced organic and healthy food but I will forever make an exception for, what we call, Christmas oranges. The sweet taste conjures memories of childhood.
  • Christmas lights. It may be dark outside when I turn into my neighborhood I’m greeted by multi-colored lights twinkling like candles on a birthday cake. They are like birthday candles, aren’t they? It’s the season to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Yes, it is dark right now, but in a few short weeks we’ll be at the winter solstice and that will begin to change. For now, I’m going to embrace the simple blessings the dark months present.

What do you consider blessings of the dark months?

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm here early most mornings with one of my photos and a few words about life and those thin places where faith intersects.
14 comments
  1. Great way to look at the darkest months of the year. Two things I don’t appreciate are darkness and cold weather which is what winter is made of here . Wish I could be positive about it but… I’m not. It’s a choice. 🙂 But neither lasts forever. Hey that’s something positive. Yay!

    T

    1. Ah yes…one of my favorite Bible verses. ” It came to pass…”!

      This dark season too shall pass!

  2. I actually don’t seem to suffer from SAD, and I do miss the sunshine in December and January. But it returns so quickly it seems these days. Life itself is picking up speed…

    I love being under warm covers with my sleeping husband beside me, those cozy slippers, too (just got a new pair). Reading a good book with it dark outside, falling asleep after a good day’s activities. My dreams are much richer during the winter months for some reason. I like that, too.

    1. Life does seem to go by so quickly. I’ve been having epic dreams lately too. I didn’t make the connection to the dark months though.

  3. I love flannel sheets, too, and turning on all the lights we had redone several years ago.

    The dark months, though, are when we spend time away now that we’re not working. We’re in Hawaii for ten days. In January it will be nearly three weeks in Arizona. In February, three weeks in Ecuador.

    What I do like though, is that even though we aren’t physically at home, we’re still in touch – by blog, phone, email and Facebook. We can be anywhere and still be right there.

    1. Enjoy your sunny time away!

  4. This is lovely and filled with hope and gratitude. *smiling warmly*

    I know that in the dark wonderful things are still there even if hidden. They’ll appear to me again.

    1. Hugs, Kat. They will. I’m certain of it.

  5. Home, home, home. These are the months when I spend the most time inside the peace of my home. And I love every hour of it. My pace slows. Life quiets, and I relish the serene moments.

    1. I’m right there with you, Joanne!

  6. You make it sound so nice and I would agree with what you’ve said. I don’t mind the longer hours of darkness, but the cold is something I don’t like all that much, especially as I get older. But it’s all good–at least I’m still here and well enough to enjoy it all.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

    1. You know I would prefer cold and sunny weather as opposed to the wet dreary weather we have her in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the sunshine I miss most of all I think. However, I agree with you…I’m here and healthy enough to enjoy whatever comes so that’s enough to be thankful for.

  7. Love your list. Flannel sheets and multi-colored lights do it for me too. I wash my windows, inside and out, right before Thanksgiving, so as to let as much sun shine in during the dark months. A good book gives food for thought. A few good chocolates….And a few candles – taper, votive, round – feed my need for sweet and light. But most of all — if one is lucky enough to still have remaining family members and/or friends — gathering around a table to enjoy a good, hearty meal prepared with love is the best solace for the dark months.

  8. Dear Linda,
    What a quiet, reflective, contented posting. Thank you for sharing your gratitude list. I, too, love to snuggled down under the flannel sheets with the cats in the crook of my legs and at the bottom of my feet. And yes, house slippers are a must on cold wintry mornings.

    By posting your list, you’ve invited me to think of my own. For twelve years, I’ve kept a gratitude journal. Each night I write five things/people/events/etc. for which I’m thankful at the end of the day. Sometimes, when I go through a span of days that seems onerous, I go back to a journal from ten years ago, or five, or one–and I see what I was grateful for at that time. Then suddenly I know that life is a journey and that I carry with me the memories of past gratitude.

    Peace.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.