The darkness begins its slow retreat

The descent into darkness finally bottomed out yesterday on the shortest day. The winter solstice. From now on the days will get longer. There is a certain relief in that, like reaching the bottom of an ocean, or a deep mine shaft, knowing that finally we can go up again, begin the long slow climb back to the light.

Our snow has disappeared, which is a bit sad. We keep hoping for a white Christmas, but this is our third Christmas in Sweden without snow in sight. There is always a chance something might fall in the next two days. The temperature will be low enough at minus two for the rest of the week. But the skies are supposed to be clear for Christmas, which means the chance of snow is dependent on a cloud drifting across unexpectedly. Mind you, a clear sky is a relief in itself at this time of year, even if the sun never gets far above the southern horizon.Blue overhead brings almost as much joy to my heart in midwinter as white underfoot.

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