Finding Light in the Darkness

 The Winter Solstice is coming. 

In two days, those north of the equator will experience the shortest day of the year. As a resident of Bozeman, Montana, this means I'll only have only 8 hours, 40 minutes, and 55 seconds of daylight. Which translates to about 15 hours of darkness!

My energy level follows the light. When I have to switch on my lamp at 4:45 pm, it also signals my brain that the day is over. This reaction, if left unchecked, can lead me into a somber, sleepy mood and leave me feeling unmotivated and uninvested in my world.

I have to find the light to overcome the dark.

I joined an online, Advent study group earlier this month. We meet once a week to discuss our responses to the daily readings as posted on Facebook. Though our numbers are small, we have been able to connect to the Christmas story in a new and meaningful way.

The leader suggested that as we approached the solstice, we should light a candle each night while intentionally thinking of or praying for a certain person or group of people.

The first time I lit the wick, I couldn't imagine it would hold much power, but as I continued the routine, I found myself looking forward to the time when I could sit in silence with the flickering flame. It brings me peace and renewal each day, so much so that I plan to continue the ritual well after the solstice has passed. 

I have found a way to bear the darkness of the season. A way that makes the smallest, but significant, opening in the night.

Where do you find the light?

What kinds of joys can bring the light into your darkness?

For some people this time of year, the light is easy to find. But for many others, we have to seek diligently to find or make our own light, lest it close around our souls.

Some doorways from this week:

  • My husband is into astronomy, so when a passing comet was going to be visible, he set up his telescope and let me peek into the universe to glimpse the starry feature. (I had to bundle up for the 15-degree weather!)
  • I attended a college basketball game with my mom and got to be part of the cheering crowd when our home team overcame a 19-point deficit to comeback and win the game.
  • I glanced out the back door one evening to see a golden sunset coloring the hay fields and the rugged mountains in the distance. I grabbed my camera and had just enough time to snap a few shots before the lighting changed and the sun disappeared beneath the horizon.


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