The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds and naked wood, and meadows brown and sear.
~William Cullen Bryant
These are the dark and sodden days we can scarcely recall while basking in the brightness of June when sun graces us 19 hours a day. There is no way but to ease into this a few minutes at a time, otherwise the shock would be too great. The howling wind continually knocks and batters, the rain beats mercilessly at the window panes, the puddles stand deeper than they appear, the leaves now thoroughly shaken from embarrassed branches.
There is no remnant of summer civility and frivolity left; we must adapt or cry trying, only adding to the pervasive sogginess.
Nevertheless, melancholy days have their usefulness and there are times they can be a source of joy when snuggled deep under quilts, safe, dry and warm. Without the stark contrast, the light time of year would become routine and under-appreciated, only another sunny day.
That never happens here.
We celebrate the light with real thanksgiving and in turn can acknowledge the darkness makes our gratitude more genuine.
We are privileged to live the paradox: there is gladness in our sadness.