Destination: Christmas #14

This Christmas series is brought to you thanks to Book Riot’s Literary Advent Calendar. It’s a combination of poetry, short stories, and essays. I’ll be posting every day, some days twice to keep up with my regular posts. Click the story title for the full text. Now, let’s get this Christmas show on the road!

Day 14

In the bleak midwinter

by Christina Rossetti

It’s round two, everyone! Ready your engines! Or something along those lines. If you haven’t read this morning’s post here’s a link to it. It’s about reading Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin and memories.

Today’s text is a poem. Something corny, with rhymes and feelings. So I’m not going to talk about that. Or rather, I’m not going to focus on it. A few hours ago I was talking to someone about the high suicide rates in some countries during winter because of the darkness that engulfs them. That was the first thing that came to my mind when I read the first few lines of this poem. The author depicts a winter that’s all edges softened by Christ being born, shining like a beacon in a lake of despair.

I imagine you’d cling to any sort of light in that darkness. Walking outside like moths drawn to a flame that’s there and gone, almost like it never was. I wonder if people forget what sunlight feels like, whether it comes a point where it feels like darkness is all they’ve ever know and that’s what drives them to suicide. It’s easier to fall deep within yourself when it’s as dark outside as you sometimes feel inside. Without contrast, I suppose every darkness is the same – they all offer plenty of opportunities to lose yourself.

So, let’s cherish the light whether it be real, spiritual, or emotional. Cherish it like it’s what stands between you and an endless winter night. Because it is.   

Have a good one, readers!

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