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From: Erhlif - DepositPhotos.com

From: Erhlif – DepositPhotos.com

Shortest day of the year is upon us.  Unless you’re lucky to live near the equator, winter is more dark hours than light, nature of our celestial place in the cosmos. Before the grumbling begins about old man winter, we’ll revel in the season with lighted decorations, lots of edible goodies, cheer, and the warm embrace of family and friends.  Through the years, my life’s journeys have carried me far from home shores, often for long periods, with coming-home-itus acute. No one feels this more pointedly than men and women in active military service.

Longing to come home is integral to the human spirit. Waiting is the other half of this longing; people on opposite ends of an invisible string pulling toward each other.

Deep is the darkness that falls down on me
Long is the long night ’til morning will be
Bright be the north star to shine constantly
‘Til winter brings you home safely to me

Lyrics from one of my favorite songs, “Hymn to Winter, by the famous Norwegian singer, Sissel, capture this thought.  If coming home is the bedrock upon which we define the holidays, those who anxiously await, are the lighthouses to ensure our loved ones find their way. An adaptation of the Post Office service creed might read:  “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will extinguish our light for those who strive to find us.”

Still is the valley, no bell to be ringing
Silent the harsh frost that crushes the tree
Frozen the heart with no song to be singing
‘Til winter brings you home safely to me

I’ve been blessed is so many ways, the foremost being part of a large, warm and loving family.  Plenty of lights in the darkness.  I’ll be heading out west to spend time with my daughters. Though we’re separated by many miles, I give thanks for modern transport that carries me there in a few, small hours. This year, I celebrate a new milestone in my life.  I became a grandparent for the first time.  A new light in our family, one I can feel from a great distance, for my grandson’s beacon is in my blood.

I’ll let Sissel finish it for me.

Blessed be the west wind
Blessed be the wild ‘fall
Blessed be the ocean to carry you home
Blessed be cold winter, its storm and its sea
Blessed be the true love that brings you to me

May your holiday season’s lighthouse burn brightly and bring all whom you love, home to you.




If you wish to revisit past holiday messages, you can find them here.


Til We See the Light