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Saturday, November 13, 2010

New Beginning

November is such a deathly month.

The festivities of All Saints' Day leads into the remembrance of all those who have passed on the Feast of All Souls. We the faithful are encouraged to visit cemeteries and pray for the dead, those Holy Souls in Purgatory, and in the meantime the skies tend to be darker, the sun gives less light, we rise in darkness and work the only light of the day away while we are crammed into stuffy offices.

The physical darkness also leads to a darkness of the soul, in a sense, as well. Recently when I went to Confession the priest observed how the temptations seem to crouch and attack even more vehemently as we descend into this dark season, and we must be that much more on our guard.

When we fall into sin, especially when we refuse to repent, our intellects become darkened as well, we begin to lose our way all too easily, and this makes it that much more necessary to cling to Our Lord, to keep our eyes on Him, and to stay close to the Sacraments.

I've been wandering around in a fog myself of late. Ever since the time change, rising with a kiss of light in the sky but leaving work in darkness, I'm discombobulated. Earlier this week I was sick with food poisoning and struggling against a mini-depression. (Not speaking in the clinical sense).

I'm always a little frustrated during this time of year, because the trees have given up their glory to the encroaching season, their skeletal branches reminding us all of death. The parks no longer draw crowds, instead they are taken over by Canadian Geese that leave their droppings as payment for the layover. We cannot walk in the evenings because it is so dark and there aren't enough street lights. There is always a feeling of danger, so I opt to remain close to home where I can control some of the light that shines through the darkness to light our way.

Today, though, I woke up to snow, and I actually breathed a deep sigh of relief.

Although for years I have dreaded the first snow, a conditioned response from my years working in Insurance Claims (even as I worked as an Investigator snow was a nightmare to my ability to do my job effectively), and last winter was spent on mostly-bald tires, this year, for some reason, I'm relieved.

While I'm not quite ready to sing praises to snow, I am grateful for the light it brings and reflects. Now I may choose to walk the dog in the evening, for the whiteness of the snow absorbs and reveals the lights of the city, or if it is clear, the light of the moon.

It is like a new beginning, this advent of winter. Just as we recognize human death as the beginning of eternal life, so is the coming of winter in November a revelation in some way, of the promise of eternal beatitude. It is one of the reasons I so love the seasons here in the North, for even in the darkest time of the year, we are surrounded by light, should we choose to see it.

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