Christmas Lights

I realized that winter is almost behind us this past week. That notion struck me as I left work last Tuesday and headed home at the end of the day.
There was still daylight in the sky.
I personally detest going to work in darkness and coming home in darkness. One or the other isn’t bad, but together I seem to find it somewhat depressing.
Usually from the third week in November, people start lighting up their yards with outdoor lighting in the spirit of Christmas. As I walk home my two blocks, those cheery lights brighten my spirits and the darkness is removed from the night.
I know the days are getting shorter but somehow those lights on homes remove some of the darkness.
We reach the winter solstice and then pass through to the new year. The outdoor lights suddenly are now turned off and the two-block walk home is shrouded in darkness.
The snow banks build up. Snow swirls and cars often are only seen as two headlights as they approach and pass you on their hurried business. Bundled up, as a walker you appear no more than a silhouette.
But last Tuesday as I walked home, I realized that we had turned the corner on winter. Light still appeared above the night at the end of the business day.
And walking home, a car I recognized beeped its horn in greeting for the owner recognized me even in my bundled state. That was the difference that the daylight made.
Now winter is still likely to spread itself over the next two months of the year, but the daylight will increase and we will be granted relief from winter with warming spells.
And on some days when the wind stands still, and the clouds disappear, we will experience the heat of the sun as it rises higher in the sky each day.
There will be other signs that winter is coming to an end. The fishing and seed catalogues, along with the Sears spring and summer catalogues already have arrived. Home building centres across Rainy River District already are promoting spring and summer home renovations.
Young couples are choosing wedding stationery in anticipation of spring and summer ceremonies. Those, too, are the signs that winter is ending. The district again is coming alive.
There also are posters going up for special events and community winter festivals. The newspaper will write about many events over the next few months, including winter carnivals as well as music and drama festivals that all occur in the next few months.
If your organization or community is hosting an event, please let us know.

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