I'm deep in the basement of another blog series, which is why things have been quiet here since late November. I'm probably out of the basement by now and up a few floors but it still feels like I'm wandering hallways and opening doors; is this a room I want to explore? Writing it all down, pulling it apart and putting it back together again.

I'm writing about work: my part-time job (how I found it, what I do), my career aspirations, my insecurities, and some of my hopes and dreams for the future. The really short story is that as I work right now to meet a very specific financial need in our family life (at a fabulous part-time job) and as I finish one career (homeschooling and raising kids) I'm attempting to point myself in the direction that I might want to go for the next 20 years of my life.

I have no idea yet of the exact destination and the path to this unknown goal is still unclear, obviously. Murky goals have murky paths. But there's a lot I do know; about myself, my marriage, my core needs and values, my interests and personality, my current skills and experience.

As I've worked my way through writing that series what I realized is that there are people who's job it is to counsel and coach people through these kind of life transitions. There might be people who can help me find the path. So I've also started investigating career counselling/coaching.

But I must pause writing about all that, for a least one post, to give some space here on the blog to December.

I have chronicled so many Decembers through the years. The celebrations, the making, the traveling, the beauty of the season. I somehow managed to write fifteen posts during the month of December in 2010 and nineteen in 2009. Nineteen! These days I'm lucky to publish four posts in a month with a very dedicated writing practice.

Things change but even in that change December has a rhythm. And it's that rhythm of activity and more importantly, the darkening days, that feels steady from year to year.

December, you cradle my spirit and capture my imagination, you hold a lifetime of memories, as you descend to the darkest day of the year.

You are a month of everything; deep ritual and ancient stories, parties and activity, snowy fun and mountain getaways.

This year's calendar is filled with birthday celebrations and Christmas parties; kids carolling at the mall and for the elderly in assisted living; friends over for supper and trips up north to play in the snow; tree decorating and gift buying; and the anticipation of Christmas itself and a chalet rented in the mountains for all the family to be together.

My heart is full with the goodness, anticipation, and beauty of this season, without measure. My cup runneth over and that is the gift of this particular December for me. Month of my birth and my being.

The days are growing shorter but my spirit feels both quickened and comforted by the waning light. This is not a year for me of difficult darkness. Some years, some seasons are like that. The dark as a weight, one more burden to bear.

This year's physical darkness is not a burden. It's a reminder of past seasons of darkness, the lessons learned in those hard times. It's a reminder of the natural cycle of death and re-birth. It's a comfort like wool sweaters, red slippers, and flannel sheets on the bed.

Life is experienced in seasons, sustained by ritual and routine, enlivened by beauty, punctuated by pain. December, like a queen in her star-studded deep indigo velvet gown, does her best to teach me all this.

I am deeply grateful that this year is not last year. Or four years ago. Sometimes December, life, is just really hard. It's a dry and dusty road to Bethlehem. Other years it's celebration and sparkle. And sometimes it's in-between and both.

Wherever December is for you this year I wish you comfort and peace. And if you're in the north; wool sweaters, deep snow, and flannel sheets.

I hope to be back here within the week with the starting post of my next blog series. And then it will be Christmas and hopefully I'll share some photos and memories here. But if not you can always find "life-in-the-moment" on my Instagram account.

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