There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –

—Emily Dickinson #320

It’s that moment in the year when we’ve reached Solstice—the longest night of the year—and the angle of the sun has changed so that even my morning drive looks different. The sun slices in at an angle, and even though the weather is often dreary, I have to wear my sunglasses so that I can see beyond the glare.

In the afternoon, darkness creeps up 4:15 pm the sky is black, and the neighbors’ fairy lights gleam soft blue or flash their multicolored greeting. The light, in the winter, is different. The change in the lighting offers different opportunities and a different perspective. The darkness offers a sense of magic that reveals places, as Emily Dickinson writes, “where the Meanings are”.

In this season in which everything seems to speed up, with holidays and the end of the year and travel and more, the darkness makes me want to slow down. I’m usually a morning writer, but in winter I’ll find myself at the keyboard longer, later. Maybe it’s the coziness that the darkness lends to the fire or lamplight that makes writing appealing.

The end of the year is a wonderful time to look backward in order to move forward. I have a project in Bookflow that I use just for thoughts and recollections, which can be extremely useful when I’m planning.

Be sure to make some time in December to write just for yourself to organize your own thoughts. Let your light shine in the darkness.