How do the pre-solstice, deep-in-winter, wanna hibernate blues lift? It’s magic.

Yes, recently I’ve lost heart, not fully, but in little bursts that slowed me down and kept me sidelined. Little lingering cold. Too much to do. Kinda blah. Nothing seemed to help.

Nothing! Even yoga, which usually does wonders. Even spending time with both of my godsons, always a bright spot. Even making Christmas cookies and planning latkes for Hanukkah. I enjoyed each a little, but still felt kinda crushed down. What?

Yet somehow now I’m emerging, slowly, as we head for the longest night of the year, from my little cave of self pity and dread. Yes, each of the small things I did helped. Yes, the attention and kindness of my partner and friends and strangers played a part. So did twinkling Christmas lights.

But mostly it was a miracle, the way these things always are. Some little spark in us, there all along, lights up, and we forgive ourselves—for our dumb foibles and wasted opportunities and for feeling glum, dejected, and tired. I’m still tired. I could hibernate through early 2012! That’s winter. But somehow I’m not disheartened, and that makes all the difference for me.

The timing seems right in another way too, with kids on the way. It’s a reminder that I’ve got to keep my own light shining. I’m sure being a dad will be a huge kick. But like any relationship, I’ve got to come to it fully myself, charged up from within, not in need of a reason for being from them. So this (probably last) winter without kids is a great time to remember to keep my batteries charged.

This moment of grace I’m enjoying is a precious gift, and one we can’t force (or if we can I wish I knew how! Suggestions?). But it usually does happen: once the slump into darkness is near the bottom, there’s finally a small glimmering sense that we’re coming out the other side, or will be very, very soon. Thanks to the universe for that! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Blessings to all for Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas!