Today, in this darkest time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, I am both melancholy and hopeful. As the balance shifts on Winter Solstice toward the light, I rejoice, but today, the darkness weighs heavy.
This year has been a very dark year for many of us. Globally there is so much despair, so much hopelessness. We worry about war and struggle for peace in our lives. Ice is melting, oceans are rising, animals are dying, and we feel helpless to stop the carnage. The seas are filled with plastic that we buy and throw away, killing marine life at alarming rates. Our food is grown fast, harvested fast, served fast, and eaten fast, and often we don’t know what we’re really eating, or what chemicals may be added to what we eat.
We buy more and own less. We work more and earn less. We think we love more and are loved less. We give more and we get less. We talk more and say less.
Despite quantum leaps in technology, super-fast communication does not mean we are better able, or even willing, to speak more kindly, more gently, more softly, more clearly. We limit our conversations to a few words in a text or tweet, and think we are connected. We are not.
We see time as a commodity, something not to be wasted or frittered away, but are we certain we know what “wasting” time really means? We are in such a hurry to do – what? We’ve come to expect packages shipped to our door from distribution centers around the globe in less than 24 hours. We rant at sales clerks and service people who don’t provide instant results when we demand them.
I’m old, but a part of me has embraced this fast-paced technological world enthusiastically (such as being able to connect with you through this blogpost!). I am as guilty as everyone else of being frustrated when my internet connection slows, or fails, or my computer or cell phone don’t work.
I’m old, and most parts of me want the world to slow the hell down for a while! I do what I can. I treasure long walks on the beach, alone or with a friend, walking silently, breathing salt air, watching gulls glide, honoring each incoming wave, cherishing each seashell I find. I watch the sunset over the water every day. I make old-fashioned suppers and invite friends to share and talk. I read real books that smell like old paper, and I desecrate them by dog-earring pages and underlines passages. I don’t have a television or a microwave oven. I’m not consistent, I know, but I do try to be still, to slow down, and to savor the moment.
And that’s all we have – each moment. The next one certainly is not promised. And yet….
We must believe in the coming of the light. We must shrug off this mantle of darkness. We must release our sense of despair. Yes, of course the light returns as it has for millennia, and it also must return to our psyche, and to our hearts, in our search for finding connection with all beings. WE must be the bearers of light in the world. WE must be the connectors among us all.
In the coming weeks, I’ll share with you a new venture I and a group of friends are undertaking to be light-bearers, to be connectors, and to offer you an opportunity to join in with us. I believe you’ll want to be a part of the excitement, so stay in touch!
In the meantime, rejoice in the coming of the light!