The Black Dog and the Promised Light

There is talk of the sun’s rebirth. Of renewal. There is celebration.

For many the darkness is palpable. Despair hangs in silhouette trees.

I am no stranger to depression, or what my friend calls the Black Dog.

But my busyness keeps him at bay. He’s skittish of large crowds and repelled by joy.

And while it’s true that fear, loneliness, and despair may, at times, accompany seasons of change, it’s busyness, community, and joy that have been my constant companions — and defense — these eight months of pregnancy.

Still, I wondered if the year’s darkest days would dampen spirit in this season of life.

Transition is expert at plucking us from our comfort zones — our slumps — and throwing us into dazzling disorientation. It can undo the strongest among us, or feed the soul ravenous for adventure.

On the darkest day of the year, I search for light — that slow-burning flame that will burn up the afternoon before the hasty horizon swallows it whole.

In the morning, I watch for the raven black sky to shimmer dark blue and then, turquoise. The light tarries. Its arrival is a trumpet blast through the dead quiet valley.

Its pace quickens. Maybe it’s the jealous pull of the Southern Hemisphere drawing it further from us.

In its cold shadow I feel no dread, no terror. Only gratitude and contentedness.

What is darkness when promised Light illuminates my horizon?

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