All indications are this Christmas will be somewhere between almost springlike and fairy-tale white, and we seem to be at the height of an “in between” holiday season on many other levels as well.
On the national level, we’re between the euphoria that enveloped many at Barack Obama’s historic election and the coming referendum on his performance in office.
We’re between a slight — emphasis on slight — dip in gasoline prices and the usual seasonal jacking up of heating oil prices.
We’re between the end of the war in Iraq and whatever comes next in that country.
We’re between the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the death of Osama Bin Laden and whatever path terrorists around the globe next take — and, of course, our response.
We’re between the election of the latest class of town officials and their taking office in January.
We’re between the 2008 economic collapse and either a long-anticipated recovery or continued stagnation — or worse.
But the sun will continue to rise and set, bills will arrive via snail mail or email, kids will have to be picked up after practice, clothes will have to be washed, the dog walked and the garbage taken out.
And those are all good things. Individually, we can’t ensure peace in the Middle East, create jobs or keep the snow from piling up. What we can do right now is take pleasure in life’s simple rhythms — and, save for the holiday crush, these are more leisurely now that days are shorter and temperatures lower.
Long before there was a Christmas, the shortest day of the year was a time to celebrate. The absence of light and warmth could not extinguish faith and optimism nourished by the knowledge that the dark can get no deeper and daylight will lengthen with each passing day.
Whatever reason you have — or can find — to celebrate, religious or otherwise, do so.
Nothing is gained by lingering in between.