By Lynda Shadbolt

I have a lovely group of women who do qigong with me on Wednesday mornings, and at this time of year we start our class dancing and singing to Bruce Springsteen’s version of This Little Light of Mine. 

Our intention is to warm up and brighten our inner light/our spirits as the days get shorter. We pay attention to the light. It makes us feel good. As I write this article, I am sitting by a fireplace sipping a cup of tea in an AirBnb in Niagara on the Lake.

I am here with my mother and a friend and her mother. We are staying in a blacksmith’s cottage that was built in 1835. It is a cozy little spot within close walking distance of downtown.

It’s my first time visiting this part of the province. We are doing all the things a person does down here. We had lunch and a walk around a local winery. We participated in a Rotary Club of Niagara on the Lake fundraiser which involved touring the McArthur Estate, which has been decorated for the Christmas season. We walked around downtown and did a little shopping. We’ve had some really great food at local restaurants, and today we are going to the Shaw Festival to see White Christmas and then off to Niagara Falls to see the festival of lights.

The lights down here are magical. So many people have taken the time to decorate the town, as well as their homes. It feels very welcoming and very cared for here.

And, I am happy to know that when we get back in the car and drive home tomorrow that we are returning to a county that is full of light, as well! I just love our part of the world and the many people who care for it and make it special. We have so much spirit.

I attended the Santa Claus parade in downtown Haliburton last week, and it was a beautiful example of community spirit. I counted about 50 floats that were lit up and full of cheer. The bagpipes brought tears to my eyes as they always do. And I danced along with the Kawartha Cavaliers. They never disappoint.

So many people volunteered their time to organize the parade, build the floats and then participate. This upcoming week also has lots of opportunities to brighten your spirit. On Tuesday, Dec, 6, the Highland Festival Singers Christmas Concert is happening again after a two-year hiatus. On Wednesday night, there is a full “cold” moon that will light up the sky. On Thursday, Dec. 8, there is a Ladies’ Shopping Night event in downtown Haliburton, and on the weekend, the Nutcracker featuring all of our young dancers is back on the stage at the Northern Lights Pavilion.

We are a county full of light; another reason I am so glad I live here.