So, I um’d and ah’d about this.
Doing a Yule Calendar again this year.
An entry each day of December until the Solstice on the 21st.
Not sure I wanted to make that commitment.
Last year it just flowed. It had a clear logic. A way of me working out why I liked Christmas and why I hated Christmas too. A response to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the whole commercial takeover of the Festive Season. I enjoyed it. But, I’ve done that now. If you want to read about that stuff, you can. Look back at my blogs tagged Yule from 2014. Or buy a copy of the print version – on sale from December 5th at a cost of £5. Jo & I have a stall at the Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre on the 5th. In Priory Hall. I will be selling my book and Jo will be selling her jewellery, artwork, collographs and hand-made cards, as well as doing Shiatsu taster sessions. Get a sneak preview of her work at
But, enough of the commercial. That’s not what I want to write about.
So, what do I want to write about?
Well, this year feels very different from last year. Much heavier. Darker. Partly, I think that this is due to personal circumstances. As a family we have been going through a lot of changes. Things are still developing. It feels like treading water in a whirlpool.
But, times seem darker on a wider level too. War, terrorism, climate change. All loom large. Politicians seem incompetent, ineffectual. Media is hysterical and shrill. Fear settles deep as dust. No answers are apparent. No one knows what to do. Difficult times.
And then there’s the weather. Here in the UK it seems to have been raining forever. The country smothered by a weighty blanket of cloud. Under foot, all is mud. Soft and squelch. Slip and slide. The dog has to be hosed down after every walk. It is unseasonably mild. It feels like the nation is lying, feverish and sweaty in some moist and germ filled invalid bed. It doesn’t feel healthy. We are starved of sunlight. In need of a bright cold snap.
So, what are we to do? What is an appropriate response to these grey days? Are we to give in to Fear? Take to our houses? Shut ourselves away and await the Spring? Trembling in the darkness. Scared to travel far for fear of a lumpsome bed.
I don’t think so.
But, I still don’t know what to write about.
And then, this morning, a friend turns up. Baring gifts. Like a Wise Man. A King. Except she is blond and wearing a leopard print coat. Like a Wise Woman. A Queen. She holds a brown paper bag upon which is written “Happy Advent.” In the bag are gifts. Two mugs. One for me. One for Jo. They are filled with chocolates. They are silly and fun and just right. They are exactly what we needed. What genius. To know just what to being and when to bring it. With those two mugs, the Wise Queen lit up our home. That is what we needed. We needed light. And that is the whole point of Yule – to remember the light. To remind ourselves that, even when the day is shortest, the night longest, the darkness strongest, when all hope has faded, when faith has withered, despair overtaken us, even then, even then …..the light will return.
We cannot rely upon others to cast light upon the darkness. Politics, Religions, Ideology, Faith, Hope. None of these can do it for us. In the end, we can only rely on each other. On those we meet each day. Walking the dog, at work, in the pub, at home, at school. On friends, family, the communities we inhabit. We have to bring the light back to each other. For each other.
So, in this Time of Darkness, smile. Be silly. Have fun. Party. Be generous. Be light and fluffy. Play. Show that you know that the Light will return. It’s the only sensible option.
And that is what I will be writing about.