Darkness and Light

It is December 21st . . . the shortest, darkest day of the year. Every year, I mark this day, grateful to be at the beginning of the upswing into longer, lighter days.

And yet, what would our lives be without this darker side? Without winter’s respite, her fallow times, times that encourage us to hibernate a little, turn inward, cozy up by the fire, let down, let be – simply be, with no further agenda?

May Sarton said ” . . . without darkness, nothing comes to birth, as without light, nothing flowers.” How human of us, how laughably human, but also how true: we long to skip the dark and enjoy the balmy light and the fruits it bears.  I guess the point that we need to know is that darkness will not prevail. Light will come again, as sure as the December solstice slowly yields to the summer solstice. Our task is to find grace in the moment, not asking it to be “other,” trusting in the unfolding seasons not only of nature but of life.

My wish for all, during this season that is holy for so many traditions, is that we may yield gently and willingly to nature’s signals, slowing down a bit, savoring quiet, and allowing the rhythms of winter to rejuvenate us for blossoming in the New Year.

During these short days and long nights, may there also be some gentle, flickering candlelight to lighten our hearts, encourage our spirits, and light our paths.

Blessings to you all throughout the season and into the New Year.

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