On December 21, the shortest day of the year, I always feel a little extra emotional. As you know, Christmas doesn’t really get me. I’m not overly moved by the extra generosity of others during the holiday season. Christmas music mostly makes me gag. And I think green and red is by far the ugliest color combination ever thought up. But the Winter Solstice makes me weepy. I get really strong urges to eat lots of carbohydrates (usually cinnamon rolls) and tell my friends and family how much I appreciate them.
December in Seattle is grim, despite the Chritmas lights that adorn retail businesses and the heightened moods of most residents. The weather is dreary, the temperatures are cold, and we get almost no light. Even on sunny days, which are rare, it’s dark when we get to work and it’s dark when we leave. And just when we think it can’t get any darker, when most of us are just about to reach for the razor blade, it’s December 21 and the Solstice reminds us that every day from here on out is going to be a little brighter. Because I’m one of those people who lives most of my life in anticipation rather than enjoying the actual moment I’m existing in, I think the Winter Solstice is the most hopeful of days. It’s all about knowing the bad shit is behind you and moving forward with optimism.
But more than that, the Solstice always makes me reflect on the people in my life who keep me from reaching for that razor blade. (Again, I’m being overly dramatic here. Don’t bother calling for Wellbutrin reinforcements.) This winter, as I bemoan the darkness and bitch about how cold it is, I’m also thinking of laughter-filled (and sometimes tearful) nights at the Tin Hat, watching my mom make cookies (obviously), the amazingly smart group of girls I used to work with who I still see regularly for cocktails, the incredibly fun group of people I now work with who make coming to the office every day actually enjoyable, the amusement I get from writing this blog and hearing from the people who read it, weekends in Portland, and the two thoughtful and brilliant women who are planning my upcoming 30th birthday party.
So to those of you who have helped make this dark winter one of the best I can remember and to those of you who have helped me weather past dark winters: Thank you. Happy Solstice.