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I am a California native. In addition, I spent 8 years in Florida. So, winters in Albany, New York seemed much longer and darker than any other winters I had experienced.
It seemed that dusk began at 3 PM and then, ever so slowly, moved into darkness. It was the expectation of darkness, not the darkness itself, that was foreboding. I often went inside at the beginning of the dusk and stayed there until it was fully dark. No matter the temperature, no matter my mood, dusk always brought chills. The physical shivers as the sun moved lower in the sky and the temperature dropped. But it was the inner chills that were filled with the dread of the unknown, the resistance to the impending coldness of soul. It was those chills that I could never quite accept or trust. I am back in California now, but I often think of that northeastern dusk as our days get shorter. I realize now that the dusk was an invitation into a deeper part of me and of God. Perhaps during this Advent, I will be able to touch that dusky place and learn from it.