This post was first published as part of the Advent Blog series, curated at the time by my dear friend Kate Griffiths-Lambeth. The theme that year was Darkness.
Autumn brings the advent of the dark days. Days of galoshes and mackintoshes. The night expanding stealthily to fill the daylight saving hours. A sense of anticipation as, before a movie, the lights dim to let the dreaming begin and December beckons in the company of the ghosts of Christmas past. When I first heard the theme for this year’s Advent Blog series, so thoughtfully and generously curated by my wonderful friend, Kate, I thought I’d struggle with darkness. My life is not touched by it to the degree that so many others are. My cares are more workaday and mundane. But then another friend, the kindly and wise Michael Carty, reminded me that darkness needn’t be negative. And how right he is.
So, I’ll take this opportunity to share with you some reasons to be cheerful after dark. Things that, for this Englishman at least, simply wouldn’t be the same under the mad dog midday sun.
The magnesium magic of children drawing dreams with sparklers
The peaty perfume of a single malt
The exuberant pop of the celebratory cork
Stars as far as the eye can see (those billions of light years)
Our patient lunar companion
The acid luminosity of be-glowsticked revelry
The reassuring warmth of familiarity of the sleeper beside you
The laser trails of tail lights
Walking up the path to a house full of people who’ll be delighted to see you
The sense of anticipation you get from that walk
The liquid joy of the carnival lights reflected in her eyes
The unseen crisp smack of a bat catching its prey
And that’s how I’ll close.
By wishing you all good fortune.