December 22, 2020

The Darkest Day of the Year

Today is the Winter Solstice — the shortest, darkest day of the year.

In so many ways, we have been in the dark this year. We have so many unanswered questions. We have so much fear and sorrow that we can’t make sense of.

It can be easy to lose hope right now, especially for those of you who have lost your jobs or businesses through no fault of your own, or can’t see your family, or lost someone dear to you.

But the Solstice also means that every day hereafter will be a little bit lighter.

As I write this, people across the nation are being vaccinated. As the days grow longer, so will our collective immunity against this virus. In fact, doctors have found more doses than they anticipated in each vial of vaccine — not unlike the story of Hanukkah, when one night’s oil lasted eight nights.

I am reminded of the line from the Christmas carol, O Holy Night, “the thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices.”

We are weary. But we can still be hopeful for our future. In the carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem, we sing: “Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

Like many of you, I am spending the holidays alone this year. I have found comfort in listening to the Christmas carols I grew up singing and finding new meaning in the songs.

Perhaps no song is as fitting this year as the original lyrics of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas:

Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

So, on this Winter Solstice if you find yourself struggling with the darkness, remember that brighter days are on the way.


Janice Hahn


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