Happy New Year everyone!
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.
December rain. That’s what we’ve got going on here. A thunderstorm right on the brink of Christmas. Seriously. The wind is gusting; howling even. The weather feels very unsettled, but more like spring than winter. Looks like another non-white Christmas in Bugtussle this year. We’ll have to settle for mud instead. Ah, well… there are worse things.
Despite the rain and the mud and the perpetually gray skies (although the sun did shine a few days ago!!) and the dark nights made even darker by the new moon and the short days this time of year brings… I am finding that my days are filled with so much light. Not just the kind of light that you plug into an outlet, but light…
There have been lots of candles and little lights on the solstice tree. Glasses of wine and chocolate chip cookies. A turkey feast with Jesse and Hannah (who are working really hard to bring that baby into this world right this very minute!!!) There have been presents and glowing faces. A new puppy for Ira. Stories by the fire and warm cups of tea. There’s excited anticipation for a trip to Gammy’s for Christmas, ’cause Gammy knows how to make things magical for little kids (and big kids, too). So much goodness. So much light.So, friends, from all of us to all of you, have the happiest of holidays. However you choose to celebrate them, may you feel the light surround you… and then bask in it.