The Warmth in the Dark

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.

A blanket-built fort in the desert illuminated by explorers’ torches
The magnesium magic of children drawing dreams with sparklers
The “Oo!” and “Aah!” of Bonfire Night
The peaty perfume of a single malt
The exuberant pop of the celebratory cork
The cool side of the pillow
Stars as far as the eye can see (those billions of light years)
Our patient lunar companion
Motes of dust dancing in the projector’s beam
The acid luminosity of be-glowsticked revelry
The reassuring warmth of familiarity of the sleeper beside you
The laser trails of tail lights
A doner kebab
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
The bedtime story
My life is not a hard one. The grumble and grouse of the normal run-of-the-mill life. But like so many George Baileys, it is often only by standing in the darkness, looking in at the window of our life, at the warmth and joy within, that we get a true sense of our good fortune.

And that’s how I’ll close.

By wishing you all good fortune.

One comment

  1. A wonderful post – darkness has many blessings to those able to appreciate them. I’m currently experiencing dark times but your words have offered some light, hope and warmth. Thank you!

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