or or Looking for Light in the Dark
December 21, 2023. The days have grown short, the light thin. Here at the solstice I am the furthest away from the sun I can possibly be. Riding into the dark has felt fitting in the wake of my brother’s death this fall, one of the darkest experiences of my life.
Yet, on the shortest days of the year, still there is light. Even on the tips of the earth, where the sun never rises for months at at time, there are still stars. In my own dark days, I have found peace and resilience in the available light. In the magic of the diffuse winter sun, in the soft glow of candlelight, in the intensity of moon and stars against parting clouds in the black sky.
The winter lights catch my eye, inviting me to pay attention to them, and to myself. To be slow. To be still. To feel my aliveness in the stillness. They remind me to exhale, to be gentle with myself, to savor what is precious, to share it with others.
And as much as I long for more sun, I appreciate that the darkness has provided a much-needed blanket, an incubator for recuperation. It has reminded me that I need to pull back and tend to pain and grief. It has nudged me to take care of my body with rest and sleep. It has nurtured my ability be tender with myself, with my loved ones, and with my work.
I had no more control over my brother’s life than I do of the movement of the earth or our distance from the sun. In the same way, the light will begin to grow without me doing a thing. The days will get longer, the sun higher. I am grateful for this turning point. In the seasons, and in my healing.
I look forward to riding into the returning light. As the days grow longer, and I bask in the sun, I want to remember that I am just a passenger on this planet, subject to changing seasons and unpredictable life experiences.
More than this, I want to stay connected to the wisdom that I can take refuge in the resources that are present. I can find vitality in the light and solace in the dark. I can breathe into what is in order to move through to the next moment, which is really perhaps all that we can ever do.
Wherever you are in the cycle of the year, and wherever you are on the planet, I wish you vitality and solace, acceptance of what is, and curiosity about what is ahead for you in the changing light. Whether your days are growing shorter or longer, may you find the light that will sustain and nourish you.
I’d be honored to support you in working on your own resilience and connecting to your wisdom.
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© 2023 Annabelle Coote
This article is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be considered as legal, ethical, clinical, health or any other business or clinical practice advice related to your work as a therapist.