In the darker days of late fall, looking for light becomes imperative for me. Every year it takes me a little time to pivot toward actively participating in this changing season, leaves falling, light dwindling early, chill in the air. I am hesitant to let go of the warmer, light filled days of summer.
The question for me becomes, how to embrace rather than lament the darkness and change of seasons. How to mitigate my fear of the dark, fear of the light not returning to my life, whether that is my inner or outer life. I fear a depression, a darkness that may take me over, my inspiration often falls away in these days too.
One of the best ways to I have found to help me shift with the season is to take walks in the early evening. I find my way to my warm socks, my boots and heavy coat, my wool hat and gloves and take myself outdoors. In the darkness, the surrounding natural world calls to me:
“Do not be afraid of the darkness, come, find your way, there is much to explore, to see, that will re-fill you, kindle your inner fires.”
Slipping into the dark the chill air, sometimes rain, or fog, this world opens to me, reminds me, this is normal, humans have worked with these darker days and their fear since we began. We have always sought light and inspiration.
On these walks, I delight in the way houses glow from the inside and at the white lights that twinkle outside; the way the street lamp cast shadows through the bare branches; and if I am lucky, the occasional glimpse of families gathering together on a cold night or the sighting of a coyote, ghost-like, darting into an alleyway, startled by my interruption of their world. I return from these cold wanderings filled again with awe, beauty and my body alive and tingling as the warmth of my home greets me.
This is our human way. On this we can count. The days will lengthen and we will find our way. Taking the steps along our paths, toward what brings light into our hearts, beauty to our souls.