Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Let there be light!

        Today, December 22, 2015, the days begin to get a little longer in the northern hemisphere, or, maybe, more accurately, the amount of daylight increases gradually. For six months, we've been descending into darkness. We've changed our clocks to manage that . . . . somehow. For folks who are depressed, or who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, this is a pretty challenging time of year. It's also equally challenging for many who've lost loved ones in the last year, or who have spouses/partners serving overseas in the military; they will be missed at holiday celebrations. And then there's the news, international and national. Whether it is terrorist attacks in Paris or Colorado Springs, a refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe, our incredibly contentious presidential campaign, or its accompanying deplorable religious/ethnic overtones, our media (including social media) does a great job of feeding us depressing news.
        The nice thing, however, that the winter solstice teaches us is that the longest night (last night!) is the longest night (well, at least for a year - then wecan learn the lesson over again).  The darkness will decrease. Or, put another way, the light will increase. And, at least here in Colorado (and the majority of the northern hemisphere), the light was never gone.  It's just that we seem to have a tendency to focus on the increasing darkness.
        I wonder if, as the light increases, we might make an exercise of recognizing all of those good things that surround us, but that we take for granted.  The Multifaith Calendar (print version)* that I use daily orients its art around a theme.  The theme for 2016 is "Gratitude".  In the introduction to the calendar, I find:

Most of us in the western world live in the land of plenty -- the land of milk and honey -- overflowing with resources, freedom, opportunities, and beauty.  it is a smorgasbord of delights. . . . On a daily basis, if we listen to constant talkes of woe and suffering (which are never ending in the media) we can lose sight of all we truly have to be grateful for in our lives.

But . . .

Ears to hear your favorite music, feet to dance, eyes to see the beauty of the sunset, hands to hold, people to cry and light with, a roof over your head, work to make us think, freedom to believe what you want. These are just some of the great graitutdes we all share.

 Winter Solstice resolution time? New Year's resolution time? How about:  "Reject those who would play upon your fears that the darkness will continue; that we live lives of scarcity; that we need live in fear of the other." Instead, "Hold to the good in all. Accept and promote the hope of increasing light. Say "thank you" to someone or Someone multiple times daily."
       Let there be light!


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