To dispel darkness and usher in new day, To light up the path leading towards glow; There is celebration marked along the way Of perfumed oils, lamps and delicacy stow. The Festival of Lights brightens the East, To reflect in jocund spirit Occident love; It symbolizes time for triumph and feast, Day by night that is blessed from above. Call it what you may or celebrate whenever, Give it form of will or meaning filled a-new, It epitomizes the victory of peace over sever, And regenerates space for all that is ever true. Spelling the onset of winter, frost and cold, Bringing on the warmth of glow and light, All festivities center on creating fresh mold, Awaiting with discrimination, end of night. Harkening the forces of prosperity and joy, Calling upon the auspiciousness of deed, Festivities strengthen deep faith to destroy, Forces of evil and hate, to harmony cede. Designed around the need to retrace intent, To question and analyze with mental rites, May the universe unfold in genuine assent, To spread felicity during the Festival of Lights. By Gaynor Borade
after the tryptophan of the few days off in november wanes, the swing of the winter axis takes place. it is the celebration of lights that is my north american holiday. it coincides with the winter solstice which is the shortest day of the year and accordingly the longest night. the lights that symbolize this may very well be an attempt to light that darkest part of our year with the sunlight of spirit.
“…and the time came
when the risk it took to remain
in a tightly closed bud
became infinitely more painful
than the risk it took to blossom.” (Anais Nin)
it occurred to me today in a meeting that the emotions that stir in me around the holidays are very much paralleled to the decorations that i unpack each year to adorn my mantle, windows, and doors. my memories are nudged from slumber as i dust off mementos from previous winters and i connect to a deeper part of self. the very fact that i have my own symbols of light and sparkle speak volumes to the idea that the energy that swirls at this time of year is very close to my center. and my culture has taught me to collect sparkle during the longest dark to remind me that there is light in the world.
“Shall we liken Christmas to the web in a loom? There are many weavers, who work into the pattern the experience of their lives. When one generation goes, another comes to take up the weft where it has been dropped. The pattern changes as the mind changes, yet never begins quite anew. At first, we are not sure that we discern the pattern, but at last we see that, unknown to the weavers themselves, something has taken shape before our eyes, and that they have made something very beautiful, something which compels our understanding.” – Earl W. Count, 4,000 Years of Christmas