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SOLSTICE
December 21, 2004
 
So dark still, outside, although it's after five in the morning. Cold and dark: the odd warmth of this early December has vanished, and it is a more normal twelve degrees Fahrenheit out there right now. The sun will come out, it says, and it will grow warmer. But the light will be brief today, the shortest day of the year.

Dark outside requires light inside. A fire, if you have been blessed with a fireplace; a candle if you have not, but something. Something to heighten the contrast between the warmth you can provide for yourself and the cold darkness the earth must accept in order to round the corner toward the birth of next year's new life. It has to happen: we can't head back toward the hot sun until we turn the far corner of our elliptical journey around her.

If you're in the tropics, your weather is steady now, steady sun, steady greenery. You must work to find the darkness -- nature is not providing it for you. And you need the contrast, everyone does: that dance of dark and light within your soul cries out for reflection in the place where you live. Go out onto the beach and look at the velvet of black sky tonight.

Know that the dark is not the enemy. It is natural. It is part of us. We can't bubble all the time. Sometimes we must grow quiet and ponder the dark, turn to the mysteries within us and see how they are mirrored by the darkness around us. The dark is not the enemy; it is us.

We do have enemies of one kind or another -- the earth has sorrows, for sure. We're in one now -- but don't call it darkness. Don't call evil "dark." The sun shines in Iraq, and people die in broad daylight. The cover of darkness is not needed there for violence to walk the streets: it shoots and then ambles, unmolested, away from a crowded intersection, leaving behind bleeding bodies, lying on the asphalt where they fell.

There is such a thing as evil, but it does not reside in the darkness any more than it does in the light. Embrace the blessed darkness the earth provides. Drink in the difference between the darkness and your own blessed light. You are made of that difference.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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