The Close and Holy Darkness

Picture found here.

It’s dark when the cats wake me up in the morning and it’s dark earlier and earlier every evening. As much as I love the lingering summer sunlight, I also really love the winter darkness. Someone once said that people fear Witches because Witches aren’t afraid of the dark. I think that’s partly correct. We may have a healthy fear of what’s in the darkness, but we’re not afraid of the darkness itself.

To me, the darkness feels like a friend, a comforting presence. When I’m inside, the darkness feels like a warm shawl, enveloping me in its embrace — the perfect foil for the pool of lamplight on my desk. When I go outside to see the Moon and stars (which seem so much closer up here in the mountains and are so much brighter away from the lights of the city), the darkness feels like a clear, bracing tonic — fresh air filling my lungs.

Dylan Thomas wrote about saying some words to the “close and holy darkness” before going to sleep and that’s maybe the best description I’ve read of the way the darkness feels as we move ever forward into Yule.

One response to “The Close and Holy Darkness

  1. I found an old L.P. of Thomas reading his poetry and one of the “pomes” was A Child’s Christmas in Wales. My friend Bob helped me transfer it onto a tape and we even put music in at appropriate places. It’s one of my favorite things and we play it every Holiday season even if it means getting out my tape player. I immediately recognized your quote and thanks for reminding me of it.

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