Tag Archive 'Christmas'

Dec 09 2014

Profile Image of Walt

Lighting the Darkness

Filed under Blog Post

xmas lightsI used to be one of those people who complained about the crass commercialization of Christmas. Then I spent decades being annoyed by the cheap sentimentality and unrealistic expectations of it all. Interspersed through the years, of course, were occasional moments of true joy in the company of family and friends, but I chose to downplay that. Or simply take those moments for granted. I focused instead on the Winter Solstice, the interplay of darkness and light, which is what the ancients celebrated this time of year, long before there was any talk of a coming Messiah.

When I was a child, I basked in the wonder and mystery of Christmas. That evolved into the wonder and mystery of nature when I became an adult. Not quite the same thing, really, but closer than one might think. There is something about the world that defies reason, that goes beyond words – something rooted in unknowing, that is. Something mysterious. And it has been with us since the dawn of human consciousness.

Nowadays, when this season rolls around, I see things a little differently. I pick through the rituals, choosing those that mean something to me, while trying to show a little compassion towards those doing what they can to muddle through the dark season. It isn’t an easy time of year for anyone except children, who haven’t had time enough to accumulate all the emotional baggage that we adults carry around.

A couple days ago, I nailed lights to my house. Then my wife Judy and I put up a tree in our living room and decorated it. Yessir, we’re doing our part to light up the darkness despite the apparent frivolity of it all. And why not? The darkness is real. The sun is close to being as low on the horizon as it can get. The nights are long indeed. And the memories of Christmases past haunt us whether we like it or not. After all, we are only human.

 

One response so far