Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light
In case you haven’t noticed, fall is here. The signs are obvious in the early darkening day, the howling winds, and if you’re lucky, the beautiful turning colors of the fall leaves. The autumn equinox, the point when day and night are equal, has passed and the year is turning towards the dark-side and so am I. I find myself wanting to stay inside, warm, cozy and dozy, while outside the raging winds blow. I am, it must be admitted , a bit of a powder puff when it comes to winter. This time of year, during which many celebrate All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Day and Dia De los Muertos ( the Day of the Dead), can be considered the long, dark, tea time of the soul. It’s a time for gazing in a mirror and reflecting on our selves as the year runs down to zero. Historically, winter was seen as a time of dread- a time of starvation, and bitter cold, a time of testing because only the strong survived to feel the warmth of another spring. But it could also be considered a time of rest, when fields lay fallow and the earth slept in renewal. It was the time when ancestors returned to earth to communicate with loved ones and magic was seen as commonplace, because it is always easier to believe in magic in the dark. This year I too want to be renewed. I want to slough off my blankets, and ease off my couch (goodbye, couch- sniff) and bravely ( okay, in my case, tentatively) open the door to winter. Unlike our ancient ancestors, we don’t have to hide in caves (unless you want to) and bear the wrath of frozen winter. (okay, I know that sounded all high 'falutin).We have electric blankets, and cocoa and warm, cozy nights by the fire. (Mmm, cocoa.) Now, while I won’t intimate that anyone who enjoys cocoa is a weakling- (who doesn’t enjoy a cuppa or two?) I will say, that maybe it’s time we braved winter and the dark and remembered that the world revolves from light to dark for a reason. In the coming darkness, maybe we should all take the time to remember that our days upon the earth, like the light, like the spring, are short and not guaranteed. Maybe we should accept the darkness as a background for our fears, and recognize that the demons we used to hear in the night are ourselves and work to exorcise them in the new year. Maybe we should look into our own darkness and find one spark to nurture through the coming winter- spiritual or otherwise. Maybe we should believe in magic- if only of the human kind. Darkness can bring people together. Darkness is the background for the stars.Candles shine brightest in the dark. This is the time for renewal, to challenge, and nurture and transform ourselves, like caterpillars in coocoons, in hopes that come the spring we will be someone better than we were before. This winter, be a light in the darkness for someone- yourself and others.