By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Today is the Winter Solstice, which marks the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
Starting tomorrow, the days become longer and the nights become shorter. This means more light that will be shining on our world as the sun once again moves closer to the earth.
We have needed light for centuries, and people from ancient to modern have created festivals and holy days to celebrate life-giving light.
In recent days, I’ve taken extra time to read about and think about our relationship with light.
At this time of year, Christians adorn their Christmas trees and houses with lights. Jewish people light the menorah, the nine-branched candelabrum that commemorates the miracle of the long-burning oil lamp a few thousand years ago.
Today, we need light more than ever. Our world is feeling turmoil in every corner, and that turmoil feels dark and dangerous.
Here, I think, we cannot just look for the light, although that is a good idea.
Just the other day, I was rummaging through my collection of vintage Christmas items. There, waiting to be recognized was a grouping of flocked brush trees. Then I found an elfin figure carrying a lantern with its pipe cleaner hand. And then it struck me.
We must be the light.
Sure, we can wait for someone else to bring the light. We can wait for a leader who seems to be shining with light. Or we can choose to search out the light within ourselves.
In mining our own light and carrying the lantern, we find enough light for our journey. And we can share our light so that others may feel it and find the light of their own. It reminded me of the venerable Tarot card known as "The Hermit."
As the Solstice day fades, I have found my prayer:
“Let me be the bringer of light.”
And may you also be the bringer of light, in this world that needs every spark.