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© David Dodds

This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath. – Margaret Atwood

When I was a child our family sometimes had Sunday dinner at my Uncle’s house. We younger children would be banished to the basement, while the adults stayed upstairs, doing whatever adults did at dinner parties.

The unfinished basement was the room of doom for me. In it was the dreaded fruit cellar, consisting of an interminably long and completely black space that I would be dared to enter: the challenge was to touch the end wall deep inside it. While I groped my way along, I had a weird, terrible feeling of being drawn towards something sinister. Because of its malevolent power, and because I had an inner desire to defeat the challenge of evil, I kept to task. When I touched the rough cement wall at the end of the cellar space, I quickly turned back towards the light of the room again with a feeling of utter relief, but even more, the feeling that comes with victory over an unknown terror.

This fall has been fraught with challenges. Sometimes I have had that same feeling of my childhood, of moving into the dark, and yet I know with complete certainty that, in due time and with a certain stalwartness and grittiness, the light will be right there in front of me.