December has brought us to the summarizing of an aging year packing her handbag and preparing to depart.
She shows up every autumn, with scarlet wreaths of holly and yaupon with frost shimmering in her hair, brightening the finale of the fast fading year. She paints our lawns in white frost, spreading spangles of ice skimming the creeks while transporting us to the season of joy and celebration.
The month’s fast moving days have already carried us beyond the winter solstice, when the longest night of the year arrived, bearing gifts of raging gales sweeping the high country, and wet foggy days blanketing coastal lowlands, an intermingling of storm, ice and blizzard filled days, sweetened with crisp star sparkling nights and inviting glow of hearth and candle.
December has brought a silence. Dark clumps of mistletoe silhouetted against the gray of wintery skies. Their snow white berries, amid festoons of Spanish moss, dance to the music of vagrant winds wandering amid the bare and naked woodlands.
This, our twelfth month, will soon be winding down to leave us our most revered of days, Christmas and its traditions of song and prayer, a reminding of family and friendships, a mingling of love and memories, of joy and fantasies. Toasts and tears against a backdrop of Christmas trees and candle light, fireplace and toy-stuffed stockings, of oven roasted turkey and goose, stuffed with a mingling of extravagant gravies, sage and oyster dressings, followed by sweet ‘tato pie, and whipped cream toppings.
December’s a promise, though its days are short. It’s an assurance of brighter days and happy times to follow, for although few will notice, by Christmas day our sun will have presented us its holiday gift of another full minute of daylight since the winter solstice.