The Winding Path

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December 2017: Light

Posted on Dec 28, 2017

December 2017: Light

December. Amazing how a month can become such a crazy time of year filled with hustle and bustle as well as intense emotion. We have so many associations with this time of year. Some positive, some negative. And yet it is meant to be a season of quiet reflection and regeneration—to ready us for the next year’s cycle of spring, summer, and fall.

As I reflected upon what to write for this month’s blog, the word that came to mind was Light. This entire holiday season is deeply rooted in the lunar calendar and the revolving rotations of the earth. It is the season of the Winter Solstice marking the shortest day of the year. This is the darkest period if you live in the northern, Northern Hemisphere—a place I am very fortunate to live as it lends itself well to this holiday season of Light. Christmas just isn’t the same if you live nearer to the equator or in the Southern Hemisphere. For me, growing up with Canadian winters, I cannot imagine experiencing Christmas in summer conditions!

This time of year is resplendent with light in various forms with diverse reasons. Christmas lights act like a beacon on the dark nights—guiding our eye to a symbol of warmth. The stars twinkle brighter. Even the sun casts a different glow. And I realize my perspective is a rural one. In urban centres, the decorative lights are a welcome change from the standard street lamps and advertising signs. Again, they serve to point the way to something more significant than “business as usual.”

Religious faith also imparts meaning to the Light of this season: Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple after a time of oppression by the Greeks and the miraculous one-day supply of oil that lasted for eight days; for Christians, Christmas, celebrates the birth of Christ—the Light of the World; Kwanzaa is an African-American celebration that also incorporates candles into their customs representing family, loved ones, and reflection upon principles of importance.

A concept I have been recently introduced to is that of soul-light. I continue to read Anam Cara by John O’Donohue. And he presents a counter-intuitive concept of body and soul—that the body is actually within the soul, not vice versa. When we allow our soul-light to infuse our body, we alter our human experience on this planet as it allows us to honour and live out our True Selves. A meditation/mindfulness practice I have added to my morning routine is one of holding myself tight (wrapping myself in a hug) while inhaling my soul-light and exhaling the dark shadows. And it has definitely positively impacted how I start my day when I take the time for mindfulness meditation in the morning.

This year-end in the midst of winter is a season of Light expressed, symbolized, and manifested in many different ways.  The short days of sunlight allow for longer periods of darkness creating a backdrop for lights to shine. Our lives our much the same, only in contrast with the dark shadows do our soul-lights shine the brightest. We appreciate all forms of light much differently this time of year; and we need to make room for quiet times of reflection in order to replenish our soul-light in readiness for a new year.

May you invite your soul-light to infuse your body and shine bright in 2018—regardless of what the year brings, what crawls out from the shadows, or what backdrop your life is set against. Peace, love, and joy in the New Year


  1. Thank you for a meaningful reflection, Barb. I am glad you are beginning your days by “wrapping yourself with a hug”. I am sending you a hug, too, on this fiercely cold January 1st. Just as the Chinook is scheduled to roll in, so too does the Light illumine the darkness.

    • Thanks Darlene! Warm hug to you as well.


  2. <3 heart warming

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