Thursday, November 15, 2018
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Light

I’m part of one of those families who celebrate a lot of holidays. In December, we get Hanukah and Christmas. Both those holidays bring the same, much-needed element into our home this time of year: Light.
We are in the midst of the shortest days of the year. There is a lot of darkness in these mountains during December. And while that can bring a chance to be contemplative and turn the focus inside, it isn’t always easy. Don’t get me wrong. I could get used to 40 degrees in December as long as the snow flies but nine-and-a-half hours of light and 14-plus hours of darkness is not always joyful.
But things are turning. And that is something to acknowledge and celebrate.
On the coming solstice this Tuesday in Crested Butte, the sun will rise at 7:23 in the morning. It will set at 4:49 in the afternoon and the Crested Butte drum circles will begin in time for a trippy lunar eclipse. By New Year’s Eve the sun will rise at 7:26 and set at 4:55. Hey, every minute helps.
And that is where the celebrations of Christmas and Hanukah come in for me. There is not much light in these early winter days of December. And for those of us living in a place where the skies are a special blue and the sun is integral to our mental well-being, bringing in light, any kind of light, helps. I mean the light of last Monday as the sun set was incredible and a winter light that people in Iowa don’t normally experience (See page 10).
So as we move away from Hanukah and into Christmas, embrace the light. Take an evening stroll and soak in the radiance of the Christmas trees in the living room windows and the lights decorating the homes around the valley. Light a candle. Play in the sunshine we have and enjoy sliding in the snow. See a play beneath the spotlight in the evening or visit with friends around a warm fire. It is a blessing that even in the darkest days of winter, we live in a place that provides opportunity for play and lightness.
Look at the bright side. There are darker places. In Anchorage on the solstice, the sun will rise at 10:11 in the morning and set at 3:38. Ouch.
And by the time the ski area closes on April 3, the sun will be coming up over the peaks by 6:49 in the morning and hanging around on the slopes until 7:34 at night.
We are moving back into the rhythm of Bliss. Happy Holidays.

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