I can’t say this is my favorite season, because I hate the cold. But I will say that I try to find beauty in every season. My favorite part about winter is all the lights and decorations abound, and the juxtaposition of bringing light into the dark.
One of my family traditions is spending the last week of the year in the Colorado mountains. I couldn’t’ve asked for a better tradition! Whether or not you’re a skier (I’m not), winter has so much beauty to offer.
This picture is one of those examples of winter beauty. Each year they decorate the town differently. Each year, it’s simply spectacular.
This year I am more aware of the contrast between light and dark and the choice we have in how we show up.
What I have always loved is the idea of bringing light into the world. I am offered this opportunity 52 weeks of the year when I light candles on Friday night. But winter offers me an additional eight days of bringing light into the world with the lighting of 44 Hanukkah candles.
The darkness we experience is not just shorter days and longer nights. Life is rarely so simple. We experience myriad types of darkness – doubts, concerns, worries, and transitions.
Maybe this is why it is no coincidence that we have so many opportunities to shine our light in these dark, cold winter months with celebrations like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, The Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanza, and New Year’s Eve.
There is a Kabbalistic teaching that says all it takes is a crack in the darkness to illuminate a whole room. Of course, the deeper meaning is bringing light into the darkness of your mind and soul.
There is another teaching that says there are three types of light we bring into the world. The first is a constant light, represented by the weekly candles we light inside our homes to commemorate the beginning of the Sabbath. It’s personal, introspective, the time we take for ourselves. The second are Hanukkah lights, that we light outside the home, as was customary before the Inquisition, to share with others. And the third, the Havdalah candles that signify the end of the Sabbath and beginning of the rest of the week. Havdalah candles are woven together by different stands to represent unity. Unity of our personal and professional life.
Last night, we celebrated the eighth night of Hanukkah. All the candles lit up on all the menorahs. It’s truly as special sight!
The New Year is just around the corner. You may even say the countdown is on! Your opportunity to bring light into the dark is not limited to winter, they are endless all year long.
Whatever you choose to celebrate, not just this winter season, but in all of 2020, I hope you shine your light bright!