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David’s Desk is my opportunity to share thoughts and tools for the spiritual journey. These letters are my personal insights and opinions and do not necessarily reflect the sentiments or thoughts of any other person in Lorian or of Lorian as a whole.
If you wish to share this letter with others, please feel free to do so; however the material is © 2014 by David Spangler. If you no longer wish to receive these letters please let us know at info@Lorian.org.
~ David’s Desk, Current Issue ~
David’s Desk #103 – The Festival of Light
Walking into our darkened bedroom the evening after Thanksgiving Day, I was both startled and pleased to see through the window Christmas lights sparkling and twinkling in a tree in front of a house across a street in back of our own. Standing in the dark, I suddenly remembered an evening last January when these same lights in this same tree had disappeared, taken down by the house’s owner to put into storage for another year. I remembered the sadness I had felt that the lights were gone. There was always a thrill for me, stepping into the dark bedroom at night and seeing those lights shining across the neighborhood. And now they were back. It was a magical moment, as if all the intervening months since I had last seen them had disappeared, and light had returned.
Which, of course, is at heart what this Holiday season is all about, however one chooses to celebrate it: the light returning.
From now until the middle of January, our neighborhood transforms itself as house after house blossoms into colorful displays of red, green, gold, white, purple, and blue Christmas lighting. It’s something I look forward to every year. Driving or walking through our winding streets at night is to be immersed in a sparkling fairyland. Santa Clauses, nativity scenes, reindeer, elves, giant candy canes, and illuminated gingerbread men all make their appearance somewhere in the neighborhood. Ordinary houses become transformed into gleaming palaces of light.
All of this continues one of humanity’s most ancient traditions: celebrating the return of the Light at the midwinter solstice. It is shaped by culture and commercialism, to be sure, but underneath the glitter is a true homage to wonder. Our souls rejoice to be reminded of the Light that is always with us and of the wonderment and magic of life itself on this vibrant world floating in the depths of space.
In the aftermath of the Paris attack this past month, thousands of people lit candles to bring light to a dark sorrow in their souls. This is often our response to tragedy: to light candles or in some other way to affirm the presence of Light. We turn to light in times of need; it is the symbol of hope, of reassurance, of life and promise.
The wonderful thing about this Holiday Season is that it celebrates light that comes as part of a natural process as the short days begin to lengthen once more and sunlight becomes more abundant. There is no tragedy here to drive us to light our homes, only joy and wonder and the magic of life. The lights we set out celebrate birth, not death, love, not loss.
I love this time of year because it is so passionately and joyfully full of light in so many forms. But really, the Light of spirit is with us always. The lights on our houses and our trees may be taken down and put away for a year, but the Light in our hearts is always available for us to share with others; it’s not on any timetable.
Many years ago, my friend Milenko Matanovic and I wrote a song called The Festival of Light. The refrain went like this:
We are the Festival.
We are the Light.
We are the Candles
Burning brightly in the night.
I like to think that behind all the trappings that surround this holiday season, this simple truth stands out. We are the candles. We are the Light. And there is no more powerful gift that we can give our world than to set ourselves alight with hope and love all the days of the year.
Have a Holiday filled with blessings and Light. Best wishes for the New Year, as well. I’ll see you again in 2016!
David’s Desk is my opportunity to share thoughts and tools for the spiritual journey. These letters are my personal insights and opinions and do not necessarily reflect the sentiments or thoughts of any other person in Lorian or of Lorian as a whole. If you wish to share this letter with others, please feel free to do so; however the material is ©2015 by David Spangler.
We invite you to share in our Holiday Page where you can hear the song, Festival of Light and read stories by David and Jeremy Berg. Also, David has a new compilation of stories available called Walker that he has written and shared with friends over the years. You can link from the Holiday page to find it in our bookstore.
To learn more, explore this website, read the Lorian blog, view a short video, read past David's Desk posts or engage self study work. View the Calendar to learn more about other classes.