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Mid-January. Just past four o’clock. PM. Down vest zipped up to my chin and then two additional layers. My eyes sting and water against the icicle air. The cold pricks the strip of exposed skin between the end of my sleeve and the beginning of my mitten. I walk. Fast. To generate warmth. All day spent indoors, behind literal, and figurative, walls of resistance that blocked me from unrequired, but anticipated engagement with fresh air. Be healthy. Be brisk. Be fresh. But I waited too long. Now I have to beat the darkness as well.

I know better. The light never lifts terribly high into the sky in the winter to begin with. The day passes with the sun making a slow crossing just above the horizon, lifting a touch more around noontime but otherwise content to skim the tips of the tallest trees and then nestle back down into its cradle just over the western hill. Four o’clock and it’s had just about enough of pursuing the northern hemisphere.

Beat the darkness. I stand at the edge of the woods trail, the canopy of bald limbs obstructing the bit of day left making the trail darker still. I plunge in, admiring my determination. The earth willing to bear my weight, the trail adding my footprint to its worn middle. It’s not so bad. I trust my pace. And, though a broader daylight leaves less to the creative mind, I am soothed by the stillness and the hush of dusk that tempts my senses into their fullest capacity.

I do, indeed, beat the darkness. Home again. And, despite the frost, I stand still in my front yard another moment having lost the light behind me only to be rewarded with the belly-warming, soul touching glow from within the four walls I so urgently discarded forty-five minutes earlier. An unimaginable moment of oneness with where I was and where I am going, each, in equal part, able to bear me. As I am.

Isn’t this what home is supposed to be? A place that you can bear and that can bear you? A place from which you can set out on a beguiling journey only for it to be your ultimate destination?

These past eleven months we have been beating the darkness, finding the stillness of quarantine and the hush of abandoned normalcy. Home has become an inescapable container for the everything of every experience. And it endures to hold us. To bear us. It occurs to me that this is what we build at FH Perry. Your ultimate destination. Now your school, office, movie theater, restaurant, coffee shop, gym, hotel. Now your everything. So it best be magnificent. It contains your wholeness.

The world is slowly turning towards the solstice. The blue hue of the February sky at 5:00 or even 5:30 offers a sliver of hope for the light to come. And still, we have a ways to go; towards what, I am not sure. But we welcome the chance to partner with you in the meantime to fashion a place to return to and adore while you beat the darkness.

With light and love,