Lightness and Dark. Darkness and Light. Have you ever noticed how many festivals during the month of December revolve around the light and the dark?
The seasons of Yuletide, Hannukah, and Solstice all involve the light and the dark. Yuletide is an archaic term for Christmas, the Christmas Season, where Christians celebrate the birth of a baby boy who brought light into the darkness of the earth, bringing peace on earth; God’s gift of good will to all. Hannukah celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, where the Temple was purified and for eight miraculous days the wicks of the menorah burned, even though there was only sufficient sacred oil for one day's lighting. The Winter Solstice Festival celebrates when the dark half of the year turns over to the light half of the year. Even, Kwanzaa, a secular festival observed by many African Americans from December 26 to January 1 as a celebration of cultural heritage and traditional values, is celebrated with a candle-lighting ceremony each evening for seven evenings.
We celebrate the light in song during our celebrations… “Yet in thy dark streets shineth, The everlasting Light,”; … “On Hannukah we light the candles and we sing such happy songs….”; “Light a flame in the darkness, for warmth and good cheer…;” “Light a Kwanzaa candle, As each night comes along……….”
These celebrations have many common denominators: renewal, world peace, celebrating and honoring family and friends through festivities, all within the context and framework of light shining within and through the darkness. While we celebrate and bask in the glow of the external lights within and through the darkness during our celebrations, we are also celebrating our own internal light, taking time to remind ourselves that the light is within us; taking time to honor it and not forget it; taking time to renew and strengthen it.
While the darkness is absolutely essential for life, the light is what coaxes us onward, enables us to ascend and move forward in our lives. The light gives us strength, love, hope and faith.
Some of humankind does not know that they have the light within themselves. Some may have known at one time, but have forgotten that they have the light within themselves. The lights of others who remember the light, and who are connected to the light within themselves, along with the festivals and celebrations with the light, can provide hope and remembrance to others, who otherwise be completely engulfed in darkness.
Both light and dark are essential to life. The light was created out of the darkness. But the light and the darkness would not exist without each another. One of the keys to life is to balance the lightness and the darkness.