the shortest day of the year. morning crept up late but bright, everything reflected in the mirror ball of fresh snow.

i was awake. i lay quiet, feeding one child and listening for the call of the other, wondering at the marvel of him sleeping ’til first light on this latest sunrise on the calendar, he who woke before dawn all summer long.

only stillness.

there is something in the cyclical nature of our existence, this seasonal turning of a beleaguered planet, that brings me comfort. solstice, the sun standing still. for a moment, the movement of it all is invisible to the eye, the music of the spheres silent. hibernation. all suspended. in the stillness, for me, lurks warmth and respite and the imaginary cave of wintertime that i suspect the ur-human in most of us still hearkens to, a pre-electric feast of treats and firelit shadows and long winter’s nap.

visions of sugarplums and of woods dark and deep, outside of time.

the only sound a baby suckling, a baby who may someday be an old woman, who will someday be dust while this earth keeps spinning and i felt the blink of it all, the crazy speed at which we run out our course and the dizzying smallness of us all, riding on a planet circling in the dark.

and then on dasher! on dancer! and a little voice calls from the other room and tired feet hit the ground running because the spell is broken and we are off again on the carousel of living, with promises to keep.