by Steven Forrest
Light soon returns to the world. Hallelujah, hallelujah . . . but you have heard it all before and it’s not exactly shocking news. Of course I am talking about the Winter Solstice. And you might be yawning already. You don’t have to be an astrologer to know that the season of ever-lengthening nights is now about to turn. Yet, buried beneath the veil of numbing familiarity, this yearly turning of the tide of light still holds some riddles for us.
For us in the northern hemisphere, the coldest parts of winter still lie ahead, but at least there’s a reason for hope. As the eloquent jazz pianist, Bill Evans, put it, “You must believe in Spring.” If you are in the snow-belt, there’s a lyric to tape to your refrigerator! Even here in the southern California desert where I live, I am looking forward to the days getting longer again. Who can reflect even for ten seconds on the notion of “the return of the light” without a little whisper of optimism arising? Who can think of it without hope?