Light in the Dark
This time of the year we see lights everywhere we turn. It is ironic – or maybe practical – that during the shortest days of the year, we look to bring in light in every corner we can. We light the lights of Hanukkah. We see lights adorning homes, businesses and trees in celebration of Christmas. We receive the lights of Kwanza. The winter solstice is the start of the solar year, and as such, a celebration of the light of the sun. So perhaps the message here is that it is upon us, in times of darkness, to create and celebrate light.
There is a teaching that early humans had a fear of the dark. They felt that closing their eyes to sleep was a death. And so traditions the world over offer prayers for safety for when we lie down, and prayers of thanks for when we rise up, almost as if our souls flee from us at night and are returned to us each day.
We know that darkness is necessary for creation. Think of the womb, the egg or the seed. All of these gestate the light of life, and yet are subsumed in darkness. It is during this time of short days and long nights that the farm and its gardens regenerate, the silence and cold incubating what is to sprout next season.
As this year draws into its twilight, preparing for the dawn of 2018, we ask you to bring forth your light and share it with us through a contribution to In the Gardens, to help us bring more light to others.
Together we bring forth the light of food, the light of personal well being and the light of community.
As our gardens turn inward at this time, so may we. We can focus our attention and intention on our inner garden – allowing stillness and quiet to help us cultivate the traits we seek to bring balance and fullness to our lives. While mindfulness certainly is a daily pursuit, we can give it special attention in these darker days to help us gestate ourselves to our next unfolding. It is a way of taking the external lights we light at this time inside of us to light our inner light.
The more people I touch in my work, the more I realize that we all seek light – to be joined in the light of harmony and love, to dwell in the light of community and sharing, to bring light into the dark places in our towns, countries and the world at large.
As this year draws into its twilight, preparing for the dawn of 2018, we ask you to bring forth your light and share it with us through a contribution to In the Gardens, to help us bring more light to others. Together we bring forth the light of food, the light of personal well being and the light of community. For no one should sit in the darkness of hunger, hatred and isolation.
We wish you light this season and throughout the year, and as always, thank you for your continued support.
Rabbi Robin Damsky