Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Light

The days are short here in the Pacific Northwest.  This is the dark time of the year, with late sunrises and early sunsets, at least on those days which are not so storm filled that we can’t see the sun’s brightness at all.  Some days are twilight blue from beginning to end.

This past weekend, out on the Oregon Coast, some of our family gathered together.  Snug in our lodgings perched high above the waves, we watched as the storms moved, one after another, before us…thunder rolling, lightning flashing, rain and hail pouring down upon us or battering against the windows.  Sun breaks lit the sky with rainbows and back-lit an ever-active parade of cloud formations.

Cozy around the fire one evening, we talked about sharing the light we each have within us, and about how important it is that we share it.  The conversation ranged over all aspects of this sharing: the need to trust our perception of what we have to offer, the challenge of acting on it in spite of our fears, the challenge of taking that first step which then leads to all other steps.

One gift that has blessed my life is the gift of songwriting.  Songwriting is a wonderful and intricate process.  The words written must express thoughts, feelings and epiphanies with clarity and beauty, and the use of words must be sparing.  Each word, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, is important to the whole.

And so it is with the light we each bring into the world.  Even if what we bring seems small or insignificant to us, it is always important to the whole, to all of us who inhabit this beautiful Earth.  Each of us has something positive to contribute and every one of those contributions are needed, from simple loving kindness in our daily lives, to working at all of our tasks with care and attention, to pursuing and allowing our own healing, to taking the leap and diving into a creative effort, to allowing creativity to infuse all that we do, to trusting our inspirations and acting upon them.

The darkness of this time of year highlights the efforts of those trying to express the greater light within them. It is a time when light reaches out and can bring comfort to us all.  Today, the winter solstice, I offer my re-writing of an old song that speaks of the comfort and light of this season. 

May your day and your winter be blessed and filled with light….Lorna
Contemporary Sacred Music

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlefolk
Original song, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, 15th century
This version, December, 2009
Lorna Carolyn Aites

God rest ye merry gentlefolk
Let nothing you dismay
And know ye that this season’s light
Will guide you on your way
It lifts our hearts
It brings us hope
When we have gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy


On mountaintops, on oceans,     
In countries far and near
This light shines brightly in our hearts
So radiant and clear
The sun and stars and moon rejoice
The end of all that’s drear
O tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy


Now with your voice sing praises
All you within this place
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace
This holy time of light and love
To all bestows its grace
O tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

5 comments:

Ken said...

I enjoyed your reflections on the Winter Solstice and the opportunities for growth it provides. Like your rendition of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Thanks for observing this day.

Edwardo said...

What a fine distillation and synthesis of the turning of the seasons, the place of light and dark in our world and ourselves, and the creative process... Bravissimo!

Nia said...

I enjoyed reading your reflections on your "Winter Light" posting. Your insights, clarity and beautifully expressed musings engaged both my mind and my heart.
Your comment about "the challenge of acting on it (sharing the light within us) in spite of our fears" made me wonder if there isn't a direct correlation between the quality of light or vision within us and our perception of the degree of our fear, which can hold that light/vision hostage if we allow it to. That is to say, could it be that the more fear we have in regard to pursuing something important to us, the more of an indicator this may actually be our "internal, customized GPS unit", a sort of "innate guidance system", if you will, to guide us forward, if we dare, toward our most juicy, most ripe-for-picking fruits in our internal orchard?
You wrote about the importance of trusting our inspirations and perceptions about what we believe we have to offer during our time here. This higher trust seems a huge part in finding the courage to "give birth" to our unique gifts and contributions and to bring forth our vision into manifestation.
I also picked up on a great analogy when reading your description of being on the stormy Oregon Coast: "Snug in our lodgings perched high above the waves, we watched as the storms moved, one after another before us . . . thunder rolling, lightning flashing, rain and hail pouring down upon us . . ." This struck me as a perfect visual reminder for cultivating a practice of detached mindfulness when we are buffeted about in the midst of our own personal, emotional "storms".
Thanks for having the courage to put your reflections out here. I hope your action will motivate other light-seekers as well. Blessings.

Lorna said...

I like that thought very much, Nia. The idea that where we most need to go and even want to go being where we fear the most is intriguing...it turns our usual perceptions about fear (run!) on its head.

Your comment reminds me of the little book called, I believe, The Kaizen Way. The writer of the book encourages us to take very small steps when venturing into fearful territory, the idea being that small steps will not engage the fight and flight mechanisms that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to move forward...moving through the fear by sneaking past it, so to speak.

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