12.07.2004

I've gone all mushy on you tonight...

Mushy, mushy, mushy. But I can't help it.

My husband and I went to a Santa Lucia festival this past weekend...the Swedish celebration of a beloved saint.

My husband's parents are in Sweden right now where it is SO DARK this time of year, ALL DAY LONG, that you might as well hibernate until Spring. Sweden is a lot like Alaska. My husband's sister lives in Alaska and we visited her one winter. It was so freaking dark and cold that my diurnal rhythm clock busted its cogs and springs. I spent whole stretches of the day huddled in the guest bed praying for a sunrise.

No sunrise in Alaska in the winter. None in Sweden either.

I decided right there that the State Motto of Alaska should be changed from

ALASKA! LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN!

to

ALASKA! SLIT YOUR WRISTS NOW!!


You get the picture. Anyway...

Here we were, sitting in our dark little pew, when the music started. And this beautiful girl walks down the aisle with a crown of candles. It was so achingly lovely.

You will have to forgive me that this is all I could find to share with you:

The Santa Lucia Music

But the music isn't as important as the words are to me--a depressive who despises the cold and the dark. I could put down the Swedish lyrics which would just confuse you more. Or I could cut to the chase and note the English translation:

Nightly, go heavy hearts
Round farm and steading
On earth, where sun departs,
shadows are spreading.
Then on our darkest night,
Comes with her shining light
Sankta Lucia! Sankta Lucia!
Then on our darkest night,
Comes with her shining light
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.


So, here are these farmers and they still have to drag themselves around in the dark and tend to everything and it's all grey. All cold. All heavy. Then comes Lucia and the promise of light.

Night-darkling, huge and still.
Hark! something's stirring!
In all our silent rooms,
Wingbeats are whisp'ring!
Stands on our threshold there,
White clad, lights in her hair,
Sankta Lucia! Sankta Lucia!
Stands on our threshold there,
White clad, lights in her hair,
Sankta Lucia! Sankta Lucia!

"Darkness shall fly away
Through earthly portals!"
She brings such wonderful
words to us mortals!
"Daylight, again renewed,
will rise, all rosy-hued!"
Sankta Lucia! Sankta Lucia!
"Daylight, again renewed,
will rise, all rosy-hued!"
Sankta Lucia! Sankta Lucia!


They trust her. The girl with the crown of candles is not going to let them wallow around in depression forever. They can follow her out. They aren't stuck in a vice of despair. They know that they will be liberated if they follow this girl.

Tonight, I bought Swedish candles for our windows and breathed a soft prayer over them for Lucia. I would gladly brave her firery crown if I knew she would lead me from this place.

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