I would have called this That Time Of Year but that title has been used in the past. Perhaps many of you are familiar with where my feelings are at this time of year. Where my thoughts tend to go. Perhaps many of you share similar experiences, similar thoughts. It is the time of year when temperatures are cold. Snow is on the ground. Trees are bare. Less sunlight each day. Some might argue we have no sunshine. We have had an inordinate amount of cloud. It is gloomy. Me thinks there is a significant shortage of Vitamin D.
Seems George Harrison, of Beatles renown, had similar feelings when he wrote the lyrics to the song Here Comes the Sun. Life was getting to him. It was not as simple as it used to be. He writes in his autobiography that “. . . it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it”. No, I have not read his book. Wikepedia is a great source of information. I simply googled the title of the song. The song came to mind as I reflected on another cloudy day.
What is it about this time of year that brings so much gloom and doom? Sure, we can blame it on the weather. We can ruminate about the lack of sunlight. We can grouch about the winter that has gone on forever but, in essence, has only just begun. So many, myself included, would like to fast forward through the month of December. There are so many expectations for this supposed festive season. The hustle and bustle. Buying gifts. Attending parties. Putting up decorations. Preparing food. Perhaps it is the expectations others have of us. Real or perceived. Perhaps we have unrealistic expectations for ourselves. We “have” to buy gifts. We “have” to go to that party or that family gathering or that community event or that concert. We “have” to invite so and so over. We “have” to make sure we do something special for the kids. What we would “like” to do becomes secondary. It becomes tiring.
There are the Christmas lights, there is music, at first glance, a festive spirit. Commercials on TV, with a background of nice music (I really like the music in the Walmart commercial), promise something magical. If only we would spend $100 here or a $1000 there. Makes it sound so simple. We put up a tree, we hang lights from the eaves, we play more music, all in the hope of finding that magic. We try to do what it takes.
And yet beneath all of that, behind the facades, in the hearts of many lurks a certain sadness. A darkness that is difficult to define. A sadness that leaves me puzzled and confused. I remember an uncle that would often have tears in his eyes when Christmas carols were sung at family get togethers. I often wondered why. I will never know what brought on those tears. I may never fully understand what brings on my tears. I just know it happens. Perhaps it becomes a time for reflection. Reflecting on Christmas’ past, remembering a loved one, more acutely aware of the pain that many people feel, more aware of our own anxieties. And for many that creates profound sadness and loneliness.
Here is hoping that the sun will shine just a little brighter this Christmas. Hoping that through some simple way we can find magic. The magic of relationships. The magic of love. Hoping that through our friends and loved ones we can experience the peace and hope that Christmas was meant to bring. Here is hoping that together with George Harrison we can sing “here comes the sun”. Make it a good one.