In literature, winter is sometimes used to represent death. It is bitter and numbing and isolating. But snow brings fresh white space and beauty and romance and happiness, too.
While two little boys found lots of happiness outside this afternoon, inside tonight a fire burns behind the grate, humming and hissing against the quiet. The holiday season tends to weight fire with a hefty expressive value -- slender candle flames become strong symbols of illumination while dim sanctuaries and living room hearths draw attention to hope and renewal.
There's a new year heading our way. All the fresh white space and all the bright flames seem to be pointing to the future. And I am pretty tempted to see those as fine metaphors.