by Lilly Jayne
from the Garden Squad mysteries by Julia Henry
Tomorrow is the winter solstice.
I say this because I'm a gardener, and the long days remind me that I'm not in my garden. Now, granted, I'm more fortunate than many. I have a wonderful greenhouse where I can spend my time in the winter. Ernie's asked me to force some bulbs for a Valentine's Day project he's cooking up. I bring in several plants during the winter, and can tend to those. But still, I miss the feeling on the sun while I dig in the garden. I even miss fighting the weeds.
I also love the winter solstice for another reason. It's a wonderful time to stop and reflect. The bustle of Thanksgiving to New Year's parties, cooking, shopping, card writing and everything else is a lot. Too often, we don't stop long enough to breathe, and before we know it we've crashed into the New Year and the long winter ahead.
As I get older, I know that the holiday bustle doesn't make up for the missing that happens during the holidays. We all have someone, or several someones, we miss. On the solstice, I spend some time thinking about the people I miss, especially my dear Alan and my parents. I don't wallow in grief, at least I try not to wallow. But I do make my mother's Christmas cookies, mix my father's punch, and sit down and read the illustrated edition of A Christmas Carol that Alan gave me on our first Christmas, complete with his annotations about Dickens, the book, the times and everything else he had an opinion about. How blessed am I to have people I've loved so dearly, and to be able to spend some time remembering them? And how blessed am I to have people I love so dearly in my life now?
I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season, however you celebrate it. Enjoy tomorrow, the shortest day of the year. Lift a glass to those you love, and enjoy the rest of the season.