In the Northern hemisphere, we are approaching the winter Solstice. This is the shortest day of the year and signals the return of the light. The daylight is brief, paired with long dark nights.
On our Northwest Island where we call home, we enjoy dense forests with large cedar and fir trees. While walking a few nights ago, we both forgot our flashlight. It was the darkness that allowed us to see the starry night in its full beauty.
If it wasn’t for the darkness, we wouldn’t see the star-lit night.
Those of us who love the warmth of the sun’s rays would take it for granted if we had 24 hours of sun. It is the darkness that gives light its majesty and splendor. No darkness, no light.
When we fall into the dark, drama-filled times in our own life, it feels like we will never get through them. The reactive drama can seem like a long day’s journey into the night, with no way out. In ancient times, people living in cold and harsh conditions were not sure they would live through the winter. They stored their harvest and smoked their meat. Still, survival was not assured.
This is the common human experience. When we experience dark times—when we are in the drama of difficult relationships with ourselves and others we wonder if we will find our way through.
Almost all spiritual traditions celebrate “the return of the light” in some way. It is a universal celebration because it signals a time for learning, transforming and becoming new again.
We may not always love the darkness, but we can appreciate the lessons embedded in the cycle of darkness and light. In this same way, we can grow to embrace our drama as part of the nature cycle of human experience. As we observe and learn from our reactive thinking and behavior, we can see it as a necessary step toward growth and transformation.
The winter holds the dormant seeds that will bloom in the spring. When your life drama emerges, what seeds of learning and change may it hold for you? What new seeds of insight will come from the dark times that are always part of the human experience?
This Solstice is a time of celebration. It is a time to pause, and to have faith that the light will return. We invite you to trust your own cycle of drama and light. In this trust you will find an inner lightness that nurtures a way through the darkness.