As I lit the fire in the fireplace, I remembered that December 21 is Winter solstice here in the northern hemisphere. Then I looked across the room and there is our little 3’ Christmas tree, lights blazing away.
Outside in the front of our house is another tribute to light with a tree and a sculpture decorated for the holidays.
Many of us are celebrating Christmas and this religious holiday, with all its trappings, including Santa Claus, has its origins in pagan celebrations more connected to nature and at this time of the year, celebrating the return of Light. See this article for more information: https://www.wearyourvoicemag.com/christmas-pagan-roots-winter-holiday/
After December 21, daylight starts to increase again, having to do with the tilt of the earth on its axis and farthest away from the sun at this moment in time, at least in the northern half. For details on that aspect: https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice
We see light as that which removes darkness or something that may come to us suddenly when that light bulb goes on above our head. We’re used to turning the lights on and off and now have automatic devices that do it for us on a prescribed schedule. Cars now have an auto headlight setting that turns lights on when it gets dark and turns them off when it gets light. Some of our adult kids have their phones programmed for light and heat in their homes regardless where they are. Darkness and light, living in and with both. That is true in other arenas these days as well. For now, we will leave those for others to opine.
Before coal, oil, and electricity, fire provided light and heat and if we think of fire as energy, which the sun is, we now see the sun as an alternative to fossil fuel energy. We keep a kerosene lamp nearby in case of a power failure when it’s dark. And there are battery powered flashlights and lanterns, now with rechargeable lithium batteries. We have a 200 watt solar panel on the roof of our RV which keeps its house batteries charged and with an inverter, we have a power source that is not dependent entirely on electricity. With a 12 volt LED lighting system, we have the light and power we need when we’re on the road. For the heavier amps we have a propane fired generator. Some houses are now partially or totally solar powered.
What we do to bring light into our lives has a range of possibilities and choices. There is a form of light that may come to us as ENLIGHTENMENT, which is knowledge and understanding. As we celebrate this season of LIGHT and LOVE let us find ways to move toward greater, perhaps new knowledge and understanding of who we are, how we might live by shining a light on the darkness. In the Christian tradition, there is a story of a star in the east the guided the Magi to the Manger. There is another biblical verse that speaks to LIGHT from the Gospel of St. Matthew: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds…”. Merry Christmas to you with a Light Filled New Year!