Light, We Need Light!

“God saw that the light was good, and separated the light from the darkness.”

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

“Light, we need light!” Bonnie must get tired of hearing me say this as November comes, and leaves fall, and it’s time to fall back (remember, Saturday night!) because once again all indications are that in our Northern Hemisphere of the world darkness is winning its battle with light. I don’t like waking up in the darkness that’s also increasingly cold. Driving home from church on most days my spirit is lifted by the warm glow of the western sky signaling that the daylight will soon end. In between, I have my ways of fighting the darkness in my office. At my desk a candle burns through a stained glass tower gifted to me by friends last Christmas. In my windowsill an electric candelabra shines through the day for those driving by on Hibbard Road to see. At home the electric candles come out of storage and glow in the gloom. Before long the Christmas lights will appear on the tree and around the house.

I know, I know that darkness has it’s place. It helps us rest and sleep. As C. JoyBell says it, “The dance between darkness and light will always remain– the stars and the moon will always need the darkness to be seen.” Light needs the darkness to shine in. It seems that from the very beginning God sees not only that light is good, but that the separation of light and darkness is good too. In this sense, as Madeline L’Engle says, “Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the darkness.” Yet I lament the light’s lessening, along with the warmth it brings. I’m just that way. My folks were not that way. They retired to Minnesota and loved the winter the most.

This central human theme of light and darkness fills the scripture and parables our spirituality. St John’s gospel begins with light shining in the darkness that can’t overcome it. “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise” Victor Hugo says. It’s true that we get a daily experience of resurrection, of the light over coming the darkness!

Yet I remain. Light, we need light! Maybe the answer is to move down close to the equator, where the seasons don’t change and the light stays on its daily 12 hour timeline. I don’t know. Maybe like so many others I need to seek treatment for what we call Seasonal Affective Disorder. I don’t know. Or maybe it’s ok, just alright to live with a lament and longing for a season. Maybe its ok to say that winter isn’t my season, and that sometimes winters seasons of life are what they are. Some anticipation goes along with that. Spring will most surely appear. Starting December 21 the light will start to win its wrestling match with the darkness. Pitchers and catchers report in 104 days! As Rogers Hornsby said, People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” I can relate!

Light, we need light! With longing and hope, spring and summer will come again. I can’t wait! But I must. And the season of cold and dark will surely give way to warmth of the light.

Peter Hawkinson

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