To be perfectly earnest, the long strings of short, dark days are difficult for me. When the sun shows its beautiful face over the hill in the morning (as it is today), my outlook changes completely, and mostly for the better.
What I am remembering now is that I wouldn’t feel nearly so dearly about that sunshine if it wasn’t for all those dark days.
It’s obvious, but not always easy to remember. Kind of like the golden rule, or the importance of love and compassion. No rain, no rainbow.
The light and beauty that we create, inside ourselves (hopefully) and around our homes with the holidays is so precious in part (I believe) because it is placed right smack in the midst of the darkest days of the year. The contrast helps make the light shine brighter.
And so it is, that the work of cleaning up the rocks and sludge that darken our hearts is best done with eyes open. Not so that we hold onto those things that dim our inner lights, but so that we appreciate how much brighter that light shines without them. So much brighter, but we will have to get our hands dirty, apply some internal elbow grease, to get there.
This is why I remind myself (here, with you) to remember again and again to be grateful for the darkness that helped me to see the light.
After all, what do we long for in the hot bright dog days of summer? Shade, shadow, sunset, and cool stars.
Without these fluctuations, these stark contrasts, these works (constant works) of keeping the heart light clean and clear, the fountain of life would be a shallow tepid pool and the light of the heart would be dim.
Dim lights cast few shadows, but also give little warmth. By that pool there might be fewer tears to shed, but there would be less laughter as well.