“Afternoon has settled long and heavy on my shoulders,” Sarah Bareilles sings about December, and I listen to it the same way one bites down into a lemon wedge.
December has a way of leaving things raw. It has a way of sharpening the lines and heightening everything on one side and the other.
December has a way of making you feel like you’re about to pick up a heavy weight — or perhaps more like you’ve just been reminded of the weight you’ve been carrying all along. And I still don’t know if all the White Christmas and Jingle Bell Rock help push back against it or if it creates a glare with their tinsel and lights.
It’s a heightened time. It always is at this point in the year. The sun seems to shine brighter, more sharply. The overcast days bring more of a sense of gray. The darkness from the setting sun is saturating and dominating. The music pings a little more at the soul, the resonance lingering in the air just a little bit longer. The wind cuts a little harder than its January and February counterparts. Every sensation is just a little more alive, for better or worse.
May all be heightened and bright, and may all your Christmases be white.