Alaskans may be a hardy people but we are vulnerable to the winter effects of darkness. How much darkness in your part of Alaska depends of course on your latitude. Folks in southeast Alaska may not have as much darkness as Fairbanks and parts north, but they have lots of cloudy days that block the sunlight.
How do you deal with darkness? Many of us schedule a trip south to a warm climate in January. Any trip outside gives us something to anticipate. That helps us deal with darkness in a positive way. Some get outside to enjoy winter sports such as skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing, sledding, etc. There is a snow machine in my garage that I use to get out into the Alaska back country. It helps me cope with the darkness.
Advent is a season of anticipation of the Light of Christ coming once again into the world and into our lives. There are dark forces that conspire at times to make our lives difficult. The invitation to each of us is to invite the Light of Christ into our lives again. We must open the door of our hearts to this Light. Darkness tempts us to keep it closed while we huddle in our depression and despair.
Isn't interesting that the winter solstice comes near the same time as Christmas? By the time we hold candles in church singing "Silent Night," we will witness a gain in sunlight with each new day.
May the God of Light find its way into the dark places of our lives.