I’m a solstice baby. Yup. Born on the darkest day of the year. As the waning of the year (and my birthday) approaches, the last few weeks prior to the Big Day can feel very dark indeed, even though it should feel like cause for celebration. When my alarm goes off at 7 am now, it’s pitch dark again, even though we turned the clocks back just a few short weeks ago.

So it also feels in life at present: students and faculty alike are tired, longing for a break from what seems a pretty unrelenting pace. It’s sometimes hard to find the motivation to stay positive, vital, active. Omicron has cast a shadow over what appeared just days ago to be a more hopeful holiday season than we have had for two years. These things have tried all of our patience.

And still: there is singing. I forced myself to the piano after a long day today, and continued to work on the opera I will perform next month, the one that has been postponed since April 2020. I didn’t want to do it, but I did. I remind myself each time I do this, that even in the darkest time, there is the opportunity to make sound, to vibrate with life, to communicate through music–even if it’s only with myself! And I’ve noticed the same with my students, even those who I know have been struggling. Making music with our voices and sharing it with one another, even within the context of a lesson or rehearsal, reminds us that there is small beauty everywhere if we look for it.

The darkest of the days is yet to come–we know this, because it comes each year. But what we also know is that, beyond that darkest day, the light on the horizon becomes brighter bit by bit until we are once again immersed in blazing light.