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The Slice: Finding a ray of light in sheer darkness

There are different ways to consider winter’s long nights.

It’s said that, for some, early sunsets pose a wellness challenge.

Others view the extended darkness as a metaphor for a spiritual state, one a certain light can illuminate with hope.

But there’s another way to see it, one that sounds lightweight but really isn’t.

When it gets dark astonishingly early, you can find your mental clock messed up. This, though, can be a happy thing.

It can lead to conversations that sound like this.

“How late does it seem to you?”

“Maybe 9:30.”

“I know. And it’s only a little past 6.”

It’s disorienting, but in a cheerful way.

So often, busy lives and packed schedules send us an unmistakable message: There isn’t enough time.

But the long nights that seem to start shortly after lunch say the opposite. They say it’s not as late as it feels. There’s still time to do things. There’s still time to consider options.

It might seem odd to associate darkness with possibility. But that’s a gift of the season.

For some at least, the long nights right now are not oppressive. They are about home, hearth and holiday. And about the people with whom we share our it’s-still-early amazement.

Make of this what you will: “Have enjoyed reading about folks having long marriages resulting from December weddings,” wrote Tim Gaines.

He noted that there’s another good month for launching a marriage — October. He and his wife, Joyce, have been married 35 years. Three older siblings have all been married more than 40 years. All got married in October.

A younger sister has been married 30 years. Yes, her wedding was in October.

Another sister has been married three times — all June weddings.

No matter how you feel about jewelry commercials at this time of year: Saying “I hope the terrorists win” is a bit over the top.

Today’s Slice question: How many people in the Spokane area have the initials “SC”?

(In certain households, one familiar approach to gift-labeling could result in “Oh, look, this must be from Steve Carpenter.”)

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Thank you for the Christmas cards.

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