I moved 14 months ago to a large apartment complex in a different state with new neighbors of different backgrounds.
Right after Halloween, several of my new neighbors put up holiday lights. I’m familiar with this kind of behavior the day after Thanksgiving, but this was a whole different ballgame.
I soon learned that the lights were in celebration of Diwali, the most important holiday in India. Diwali’s a Hindu celebration of light — symbolizing the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. Lovely! Other neighbors followed a few weeks later — stringing blue and white bulbs in celebration of Hanukah, the Jewish festival of lights.
As I write this article (a couple of weeks before you read it) I’m getting ready to put up my light-festooned Christmas tree. It will remain up through the 12 Days of Christmas, commemorating the three wise men whose journey to baby Jesus was guided by none other than a star shining in the night sky.
Whether the source is a candle, a fireplace, or a star in the clear night sky, there’s something primal, soothing, mesmerizing about light amidst the darkness of winter. There’s a universal clarity and hope within even a tiny flicker. Did you know some meditation practices use a candle?
Maybe you aren’t a regular meditator but the season calls for this certain stillness. I think there’s value in sitting in the semi-dark while staring into a flickering flame…a twinkling light.
There’s gold in those solitary moments…don’t you agree?