A friend whom I hold in high regard said recently: “It’s really challenging to stay connected to light during these dark days.”
Part of my response was “Equinox is coming March 20.” I know there are many ways to stay connected to light and this calendar event that happens twice a year is all about Light, as are many of the major holidays in the world’s religions. The balance of equinox, with approximately the same number of hours of dark and light is a sign along the way and this vernal equinox means that there is a bit more light each day that started with the Winter Solstice. We depend on the sun for life, thus sunrises and sunsets are part of many people’s daily rituals. The Sun warms our seas, stirs our atmosphere, generates our weather patterns and gives energy to growing green plants that provide food and oxygen for life on Earth. https://history.nasa.gov/EP-177/ch3-1.html
We found ways to manufacture artificial light to light up the darkness so we can find our way at night without becoming totally lost. Earlier navigators depended on the sun, moon and stars for finding their way. Now we’re all connected to some kind of GPS device. I still prefer paper maps so I can see more things beyond where I want to go. That’s a different topic so let me get back to Light. I tend to wander off course in more ways than I care to admit.
Where else can we turn to not only stay connected to light but to become a light for others? It was the same friend who said she sings this song below frequently. She shared that with a small group exploring our Spiritual Stress last Sunday morning in an online chat group. Here is the background and the lyrics.
“This Little Light of Mine” is a gospel song that came to be an anthem of the civil rights movement in the 1950’s and 60’s. Often mistakenly believed to have been sung on plantations during slavery, it was originally written by Harry Dixon Loes around 1920 as a children’s song. During the Civil Rights Movement, Zilphia Horton adapted the song and taught it to Pete Seeger. The song is famously tied to Civil Rights leader, Fannie Lou Hamer.
While being detained by police on her way back from attempting to register to vote with
other members of her community, she began singing this song, obviously out of the Christian tradition of many gospel hymns:
Here is one of my favorite renditions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2kDsqGeoLU
If all of us were to let our light shine and be a beacon for others, perhaps we could collectively light up the way toward equity, justice, peace, and mercy. Yes, it can be challenging to stay connected to light when it might seem dark and discouraging. That’s why it’s all the more important for us to look for signs of faith, hope and love so that we may encourage and support one another through some very trying times. The challenges are inevitable and will come in one form or another.
When you believe that you either have or can find the necessary resources to meet those challenges, the darkness tends to dissipate. There’s a piece of Scripture from the Bible that says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” It doesn’t matter so much about the source of the light – the Sun, the Universe, God, Allah, Ohr, Jesus, Jyoti or a candle. The point is that the Light is accessible from a number of sources when we make the connection. Perhaps it’s a different kind of plugging in.