I remember the first time I realized that the time change affected me. Lying on the living room floor, facing the ceiling, I was unable to motivate myself to rise because of how dark it was by 4pm. The darkness outside seemed to physically hold my body to the floor.
Two years ago I wrote a small collection of prayers, several of them concerning the changing of the seasons. Though I needed the prayers then, in many ways I need them more this year. I wrote them in an attempt to cling to faith amidst great doubt, and this year they are reminding me that “everything sad will come untrue”.
With the time change upon us and the days having shifted into more darkness, perhaps we are all contemplating our need for sunlight?
This prayer is a reminder of the truth as the winter darkness grows longer:
Prayer of Petition VII – Refuge Against the Winter Dark
“As the leaves begin to fade to red, and all around me seems to turn onto the path of death, remind me that tireless life is found in You.
I need not mourn too long for the passing of the summer and its blessed life, nor dread the coming winter’s darkness, for Thou art with me. I need not be afraid.
Though the loss of any good and living thing may rightfully taint our lives with sadness for a moment, we need not linger nor give way to the sorrows and anxieties, for in the winter battle Your Light within us shall be all sufficient. The earthly darkness without shall not overcome Your divine light within.
Give us strength in our weariness, when it seems we cannot withstand one more day of dark cold. Thou art infinite, with unending strength to be our Firm Foundation.
Give us hope as we long for the promised return of summer, when living breath shall again skip across the gilded fields, for Thou art the Giver of Good Gifts, the One who breathes Life into the cold dust.
Give us refuge as we fight against what batters without and what attacks within. Be Thou our rest, for Thou alone can give it to the full.
Give us courage as we face the curtain of darkness, and doubt at the ability to face and overcome it. You will protect and guide us, leaving us not alone for a moment, but spurring our souls on with Your goodness.
O dear Refuge and Stay, what night is so dark, winter so long, that we need have cause to fear or doubt? Indeed, there is no night so dark, nor winter long, that we need be overcome by despair, for You ordain and overcome all things, and shall bring forth life from the death-covered ground.
Fix our eyes on You, most gracious Father. Thou shall see us through unto our entrance into the glory of Your presence and through eternity!