Every Yule for several years now I’ve stayed up all night to watch the
sun rise.  After all, as a good friend once put it, if we don’t
watch the sun come up then how do we know it’s the God and not just a
big ball of fire in the sky?  In previous years I’ve had friends
come over, watch movies, drink coffee, chain smoke and otherwise make
sure we were awake as the sun heaved itself over the horizon. 
Every year I’d be so tired by sunrise that as soon as the edge of the
sun was visible over the horizon I’d declare it risen and then heave my
own self off to bed.

This year, though, I need to be at work – so no staying up all night
for me.  Instead I spent yesterday shopping and running around
town taking care of the last of my gift buying.  When I got home
The Boyf cooked dinner while I lit a fire and then we settled in with
Mr. Saturday to watch a Coen Brothers movie (I can’t remember its name,
but it’s the one about Italian & Irish gangsters in the
’30s).  Then it was off to bed at something past a reasonable hour
but nowhere near sunrise.

I’ve always been a prolific and vivid dreamer – I get the full-on
sensory experience, with sound and lights and color and a cast of
thousands.  Last night turned out to be no exception, as I tossed
and turned under the weight of dreams of trials and travels and all
sorts of things.  There was one where the place I was in was
filling with smoke and another where we flew across an ocean to
someplace very far away.  I remember twice waking with a start to
hear The Boyf ask if I was alright only to mumble, “Just a dream,” as
my head hit the pillow again. 

Once, around 6:50am or so, I woke up from another dream and got up to
stretch my legs.  I noticed out a window in the back that the yard
was still dark and double-checked my watch.  I don’t often see
6:50 in the morning, so my brain wasn’t processing that this is the
shortest day of the year.  Instead I kept thinking, Isn’t it awfully late for it to still be dark? 
On the way back to bed, though, I saw from the bedroom window that the
yard had started to brighten and the sky had slipped from pitch black
to blue and the night had started to collapse into shadows. 

I’d spent the whole day yesterday tracking my parents’ trip to Boone
and back in a snowstorm, making travels of my own, finishing up
shopping and then coming home to eat a brightly colored jumbalaya, tend
the fire and watch a movie with a cyclical storyline about death and
rebirth.  I’d spent the whole night dreaming of movement and
troubles and the stumbling blocks life puts in one’s way, waking every
couple of hours only to find myself submerged again in the depths of
dreaming.

And now, as I crawled back under the covers, the sun was coming up. (more…)