Back in the days when I taught preschool, I always themed December, “Celebrating with Light.” We learned about Hanukah, St. Lucia Day, Christmas and Kwanza. We looked at the uses of light and the meaning of the light in each tradition. We also looked at the darkness of winter and how important the light is in the darkness.
In my therapy practice most of the depression I hear about during the holidays centers not on being alone, but on the financial burden of the holidays and guilt about not being able to buy more things for the people they love.
During the brief time I spent with Quakers I discovered many treasures I still carry with me today. One of these is the expression, “I will hold you in the Light.” Someone once asked me what I saw as the difference between prayer and meditation. I answered that prayer was more like talking and meditation, when used in this sense, was more like listening. Holding someone in the Light is a little like a combination of the two. It’s more like upholding a person that their needs may be met and their suffering eased. It’s a way of lending Light in the midst of their darkness.
We spend so much time in December rushing around trying to accomplish so much; buying gifts, wrapping presents, going to parties, cooking goodies and meals, giving to and doing for charities. All of these may be good things to be involved with, but in the midst of it all we forget to breathe and create presence and quality. We forget that a smile or a kind word for a stranger or loved one may be just what’s needed; may be just the Light needed in a moment of darkness. During the upcoming holiday season may you find moments to find Light in the silence and to lend Light to others.