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Slowly Looking Up

We lurch in and out of winter. There is cold and snow, then rain and warm, then more cold but no snow, all the while the days slowly diminishing around their edges, and I play the game I always play around this time of year, which is to count back from December 21, and then add that number plus one to the other side of the solstice to determine when we’ll have more daylight than we do now. And yet, strangely, it feels as if the days and weeks and even months are galloping past, even in the dark. Maybe especially in the dark.

For five straight days we had skiable snow, and so I skied, each morning the same loop, the only one that’s really possible with such scant cover. Down the driveway, along the road, over the bridge, past the church, around the field. Then again around the field. Then if I have time maybe even again. Then around the church on my way home because I have this idea that skiing around the church might in some way compensate for the praying I don’t do.

December 28. That’s when we’ll again have as much daylight as we do today. And the day after that, just a little more. And it feels to me like things are slowly looking up.

7 thoughts on “Slowly Looking Up”

  1. As usual I always enjoy reading your posts but this one made me smile. I too count the days to when we’ll have more light than today. It’s getting closer!

  2. Hi Ben…..I’ve always liked the shortest of days to be leading up to Christmastime. It gifts more darkness for the outdoor holiday lights to be on. This year that’s not a bad thing at all.

  3. Just reconnected with an old VT friend who now resides outside Fairbanks AK. They have 20 hours of total darkness and a few hours of some twilight. Can you fricken imagine?

  4. This is the time of year when a woodshed full of seasoned split wood gives a person living at cold weather latitudes peace of mind.

    It is gray overcast here, 23 with 3″ of snow on the ground, but the forecast is for temps in the 40s early next week, so we’ve probably not going to have a white Christmas.

    Wishing you, your family, and your friends a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and COVID-free 2021.

    I saw that your Governor is going to give Vermont’s undocumented aliens a $5,000,000 gift, paid for by hard working citizens who actual pay taxes. I would have thought that with tourism numbers down, the budget wouldn’t have had a surplus available to give away to criminals.

  5. Thanks. Not just for the posts but much of your other written work. In early 2019 I read Homegrown. My children were 4 and 2 at the time. I enjoyed your book for so many reasons but the obvious one these days is the reassurance that no matter how poorly I pull off this unforeseen year of homeschool, my kids will do alright. Or if they don’t it won’t be because we spent nearly 24/7 together during the pandemic. Even on the bad days I really cannot imagine a better way to go. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to go full on unschooling.

    P.s. I’ll be sure to bring up the solstice in our ‘school work’. My husband and I are geographers by trade and that stuff is near to our hearts.

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