Thursday, December 11, 2008

It gets very dark in the Pacific NW during Winter! By this time of year, it starts getting dark around 4pm and stays dark until around 7am: that's 15 hours of darkness, and 9 hours of wan, horizontal sunlight, each day. Most days the little sunlight we receive has to pierce a cloud layer, and then penetrate the long shadows of the Douglas Firs and Cedars. It is beautiful here, don't get me wrong, but the darkness can get to you, especially if you've lived in California for 5 years before moving here, as I did!
This year, however, I gained a new appreciation for the dark : it is absolutely perfect for Christmas lighting displays! The lights look so beautiful and cheerful, glowing in the inky blackness. I felt inspired to go to Target and purchase some lights for our family. It was a big source of excitement for the children that day, and it still as, as we plug in the lights each evening.
One house in my neighborhood is particularly brilliant and well-covered with lights and displays of various kinds. I look forward to driving by every evening, and getting inspired by the Season. By the way, I've learned in the course of my studies that the word "NOEL" is an old French word (not a modern French word, but an old French word) meaning "news". The "news" is of course the "good news" that the angels sang over the hills of Bethlehem (You know, as in the carol, "The first nowell, the angel did say..."). So, NOEL is actually a synonym to GOSPEL, for both refer to the Good News of Christ's Incarnation.


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