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QUINTESSENCE

Dark Months

"Try to hold you (as you did then)
and, brilliance magnified,
circle beyond the ironwork
encasing your human heart."
- "11/10 Again," Lucille Clifton, The Book of Light, 1993

As early dark nights settle amongst the streets and houses, as the last of the geese call and beat their wings toward the southern horizon, as the dark grows cold and the mornings fall silent of bird song, now the deep ease of the winter begins. November in a northern country.

The letting go of fall is complete: the cycle of growth and harvest set aside. Welcome the interlude, the stillness. For some this will invoke a time of hibernation, a withdrawal toward the hearth, toward the heart it might be said. The space between beats is one of the purest gifts of the season. It is in this quiet contemplation that we mend, assess, and plan again. But our peace is often lost in the clamor of holiday plans and gatherings. The new year will come in on the heels of the days now past. What are we thankful for? What will we do differently? And how and when will we begin again?

The abbreviated days of Thanksgiving hesitate on the threshold. Can we look within for our personal tomorrows? Would we be surprised to find in the silence the songs we have yet to sing?
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