The days are getting longer – Rev Gareth Darlow

The days are getting longer.

To be honest… I don’t see it.

But the people who know (I googled it) tell us that June 21 was the shortest day of the year. So the days are getting longer.

It still gets dark awfully quickly.

It’s just after four and the parents on the street are dragging their kids in from their game of street cricket, slightly tired of losing balls in the twilight, fairly worried about the way people start driving as the darkness approaches.

I wave my arms angrily as a man hammers past in a four wheel drive, punching leaves and sludge from a pothole at the fast-scattering kids.

I grab my own kid’s hand and use an epithet at the driver, then apologise to the mum who’s making sure her kids are ok.

She takes a deep breath and tells me the word she managed not to say was worse.

My kid looks at me with a deep and gleeful grin.

“Swear Jar.” she says.

“I…”

“Swear Jar.”

“But…”

“Swear Jar daddy.”

In retrospect it may have been a mistake to decree that any money put into the swear jar would be put towards ice cream.

The days are getting longer but they’re pretty short right now. The light is lasting longer, but it’s not lasting long. And my soul is ready for the spring. I’m ready to smell flowers blooming. I’m ready to be warm in my bones.

I don’t see it in the huff in the air as I put the bins out.

I don’t smell it through the pine smoke as the family across the road crank up their wood fired heater.

I don’t feel it past the pins and needles in my face as the three of us walk into the warm house after scooting harebrained through a frozen twilight.

Left to myself, I couldn’t tell you it was there.

That the days were getting longer.

That there would be a spring.

But I’m not left to myself.

It doesn’t rely on me. (thank God)

The days are getting longer.

Spring will come.

 

Rev Gareth Darlow

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