Since coming into Christian Science, January has not been differentiated to the writer from other months, in regard to a sense of cheerfulness and contentment. But she well remembers that in the old days a certain dullness and weighed-down feeling was apt to beset her family and herself as the new year set in. Christmas pleasures were over, visitors had departed; there were beliefs of colds, and a sense of inadequateness to a round of duties, made duller and heavier than usual perhaps through indisposition in the household. Such were frequently the signs of January's presence; while to match them outside there was a somber neutral-tinted garden, overhung by leaden skies, or fogs, or falling snow.

Across this saddened aspect of things, however, streamed one bright little thought that the family circle never failed to enjoy and to comment upon as though it were some rare piece of news. It had actually arrived in December; but on the twenty-first of that month we were far too busy to do more than remark that the shortest day had come. But now the dull hours were streaked as by a sunbeam with the knowledge that we had already left behind that landmark of time, and the open secret was passed from one to another, "The days are getting longer!"

Now, observe, the actual difference as to length of daylight in that first fortnight was practically nil. We still rose in semidarkness or by gaslight; and at the other end of the day the skies were often so overcast as to render any change in time of sunset imperceptible. Nothing, however, could disturb our satisfaction with our prospects; we were so absolutely certain that an abundance of daylight would by degrees be bestowed upon us. Let the hours be never so dark, let fog put us back to November, or black skies confirm the wind's shriek that there was no additional daylight to be thankful for, we still relied upon our certain knowledge that we were tracing the upward march of the year. And being thus sure, we felt we had a right to picture a green tint coming before long upon the trees, or to revel in a vision of snowdrops lifting their pure white heads above the brown earth. And did thought stay there? No, it traveled among unfolding leaves and primroses and hyacinths, till it reached the roses and June ablaze with glory.

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January 6, 1912

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