+ Hands cupping setting sun Aug FB 4910369_sWhen I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about for this post, I decided to pick an Angel Card, as I invite my clients to do in their treatments. The card that came up (I swear I’m not making this up!) was “Light.” My first response was, “How formulaic to write about Light at this time of year!” and I had to resist the impulse to pick another card! But I decided to take the card as I have my clients do, as something to consider at this point in their lives, and stayed with it.

Light is something I’m very aware of. I’m the only person I know who periodically checks the Boston Globe’s Weather page to see the day’s length. I keep track of sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset. The longest day of the year is somewhere around fourteen hours of light and the shortest is closer to nine. Isn’t that amazing? Such a big contrast!

Of course, I love summer’s luxurious hours of daylight. I find I have more energy and accomplish more in the evening hours in summer than in winter. I’m still fairly comfortable with the daylight at Equinox. Equal parts of light and dark suit me. But, the shorter and shorter days of late fall can be a challenge to my mood, especially if the day has been gray and cloudy.

A few weeks ago, I was driving at about two o’clock in the afternoon when I noticed that even at that hour, the daylight was definitely diminishing and the shadows were lengthening. It had been a day of beautiful sunlight and strong blue skies, my favorite kind of day. Seeing the sunset approaching so early caught my attention and I was surprised to notice a little thrill of excitement. Accustomed to dreading the darkness, I found instead that I experienced a sense of appreciation for what light there was. In that moment, the shortness of the day brought a sense of the preciousness of light to me.

Light is precious. There are many literal and symbolic ways of thinking of Light. This is where the “formulaic” part may come in, but these are worth visiting from time to time. When clients pick up the Light card, it often brings a sense of the Divine or God, also the image of “lightening up,” or of the “Light at the end of the tunnel” – hope and a promise of change to come. Quakers talk of holding concerns “in the Light” as a form of prayer. The holidays are centered in the theme of Light and are surely connected to the pagan holidays of Solstice, which celebrated light’s cycle through the course of the year.

But dreading the dark, as I used to when fall approached, doesn’t do justice to darkness either. Darkness symbolizes the deep, the rich fertile ground, the womb of creation. It is a beautiful and equally important energy to honor positively as well. You can’t have one without the other!

Release some of the sense of “same-old” from Light this year, if you can. Sit in the dark for awhile and then turn on a lamp. Enjoy both aspects! Try to see the lights decorating your neighbor’s house with the excitement of a three-year-old! Buy a new candle and light it on your mantle. Look outside in the southwest sky this evening, Sunday, or Monday and see the shining planets Venus and Jupiter in spectacular alignment (really! Another thing I read in the Globe column!). These points of light are amazing to witness in the night sky.

Find a way of honoring the preciousness of Light and share it with others. Sharing the light is a beautiful practice that brightens the world.

Share your thoughts