The winter solstice, happening between December 21 and 22, is a cause for celebration. It's the day when we turn once more towards the light. From the solstice forward, there is a minute more light every day.
In New York it means that by the end of January, there will be daylight until 5 p.m. instead of 4:30 p.m. Even though it's cold and dark right now, I recognize daylight is coming back and soon the mounting minutes will make a difference.
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When we are going through the end of a relationship and contemplating separation or divorce, it's easy to relate to the winter darkness. It feels like walking through a long, dark tunnel. There are only occasional rays of light and they don't seem to last long enough. At times, we may believe that we will never find our way through.
During the dark times, it's helpful to recognize and understand that darkness and gloom are temporary. As it is with the solstice, there comes a turning point when something in us shifts and we begin to see more light — maybe a minute more each day. One morning we wake up and realize that a shift has happened.
We see farther down the road than was possible before. Yes, we may have a dark day again — they do come and go — but once we experience the shift, we intuitively know that healing is possible and lighter days are coming. Although the solstice is not formally acknowledged by Christianity or Judaism, I am grateful we celebrate the birth of Christ and Chanukah, with all of the traditional and ceremonial lights, at a time when we need light most.
Even though it's dark outside, there is illumination — lights strung on houses and trees, candles in the window or a menorah on the table. The convergence of all these events can be very uplifting!
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Take a walk outside or a drive around town and enjoy the celebrations of light, even if your holiday spirit is lagging. Bring a new toy to Toys for Tots or an unused coat to a local church. Life goes on and it’s good to know that you will too. Better days are coming.
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