Let There Be Light. And Kindness.

It’s the Winter Solstice today. The shortest day and longest night. As one who is quite affected by the dark days of winter, I think a lot about light – seeking it, creating it and how to cope with the lack of it. As every gardener knows, sunlight determines much of how we design our gardens. What plants we choose, where we place our selections, our own seating locations to best enjoy both plants and sunlight. A great garden strikes a definitive balance of light and shade.

For me personally, with the shrinking of the hours of light comes the demons both real and imagined. So I’ve developed coping skills that help manage them. In the spectrum of how much one is impacted seasonally, I realize I’m lucky enough to just be moderately affected where it can still be managed without medication. I get outside daily to soak up as much light as possible and try to complete all relevant tasks (indoors and out) well before it starts getting dark. Accomplishing the chores is certainly a mood lifter. The dark hours are filled with lights of all sorts burning bright. Candles, electric bulbs, fireplaces work in unison to dispel the darkness. Music, flowers, humor and light reads too, Good company breaking bread together is an elixir for the spirit. I’m immensely grateful for it all. Admittedly, it takes conscious and consistent effort. But it’s the only way forward.

My heart goes out to everyone whose struggle is so much harder. The pain is real and much of the time it is invisible. It helps to remind ourselves to be particularly kind and caring to each other at this time of year.

The fact that following this solstice, each day brings an additional minute of light is psychologically comforting. One can quite literally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hallelujah.

Dark And Light

The light of day

sparkles honest

Cobwebs shimmer

rewards promised

Hope soars

confidence shines

Courage accompanies

mountains to climb

Sunrises occasion

plans anew

Clarity surfaces

Beliefs ring true

Nightfall arrives

slow and sure

Shadows lurk

luring fear

Darkness imposes

time to remember

Review, regret

call to surrender

Sunsets precede

hidden dreads

Anxiety reigns

awake in bed

Reality lies

in plain sight

there’s nothing in the dark

that’s not there in the light.

Shobha Vanchiswar

It’s no coincidence that all the celebrations this month involve lighting up our spaces- not to mention the Christmas tree/Hanukkah bush! So, go forth and celebrate – create light, spread the light, share the light, be the light.

(c) 2022 Shobha Vanchiswar

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