On the Darkest Night, We Celebrate Warmth and Returning Light

Bonfire-light and dark

Light and dark, always together and ever in contrast.

Light and dark. Dark and light.

Light is always just on the other side of darkness, and darkness is always on the other side of light.

So, finding time to celebrate these perpetual contrasts and, right now, welcome the light, is what this holiday time is about in northern climes, no matter what your specific tradition may be.

You can see this celebration of light in the Menorah, the lights on the Christmas Tree, the Winter Solstice bonfire, and the many other traditional evocations of brightness and warmth at this darkest time of year.

For the ancients, the experience of the days shortening and the light seemingly withdrawing from the earth must have been terrifying.

Imagine what it would have felt like, having no idea that what you were experiencing was part of a cycle – that the sun and the light would return.  Those increasingly darker nights must have been confusing and frightening!

Light, Darkness and Energy

Even now, many feel the effects of the longer nights and dearth of daylight, sometimes feeling depressed, lethargic, and generally being less productive and energetic.  It can be a challenging time of year, and it is no accident that so many festivals and celebrations are in play now.  For generations, they have helped people get through this time.  What helps you through?

Here are three things that I find very useful and energizing to remember during the dark times:

  • The light will return.  This is one phase of a cycle and you can count on its changing.
  • There are many things that the dark has to teach.  This can be a time of rich inwardness.  Embracing the dark brings you gifts untold.
  • Remember that there are lights you can ignite whenever you choose to.  Appreciate yourself with nurturing messages and see the glow that follows. It illuminates your path forward.

And now, as we round out the month of December here in the northern hemisphere, I am reminded that the light is returning even as I write this.  Yet, there are still dark nights ahead.

Darkness Holds Treasures

I leave you with this favorite poem, along with my good wishes for this winter holiday time. It’s called “To Know the Dark.”

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light,
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.

Wendell Berry

How do you feel about the dark?  The light?  Is your energy affected by their shifts and changes? How do you explore the dark and bring light into your life? I’d love to hear.

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up and download our complimentary Finding Time Success Kit.  It includes The Finding Time Boundary Template. And when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my weekly Finding Time Tips and my monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine.

Let’s explore time together…

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