By Lynda Shadbolt
I’ve been taking a course with Robert Holden and Caroline Myss that is about this holy season of light that we are in right now. Every year at this time there are numerous wisdom traditions that celebrate the light, perhaps contemplating the power of light and how light lives in each one of us. How do we each shine as brightly as we can for ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities and for the whole planet. It’s a good thing to contemplate as one year comes to end and a new one begins.
The season of light possibly begins with Diwali which is the 5 day festival of light celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains around the world, showing gratitude to the almighty. Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime dedication to the “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and special foods. On Dec. 8 Buddhists around the world celebrate Bodhi Day, which is considered to be the day when the Buddha became enlightened and realized that it was possible for all beings . On his death bed the Buddha said to the people who were with him, “Make of yourself a light. Be a lamp in the world.” There is Advent which is a practice where we prepare ourselves to see the light. Solstice comes on Dec. 21 when we celebrate the shortest day of the year, and the coming back of the light. There is Yuletide, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years and Epiphany and more celebrations.
What I understand is that there are many wisdom traditions that all use this time of year to reflect on the past year and how they want to move into the new year. They take the time to pay attention to light in their lives. Where does light come from, how does it feel, what does it inspire, how do we share our light? I think we can all agree that the world needs each one of us to contribute to the light in our own unique ways. When we are cut off from the light, and feel separated and alone is when we struggle more. I am paying attention to the light every day from the time I get up until I go to bed. Last weekend, I was one of the 400 plus people who lined the street downtown for the Santa Claus parade.
It was a night filled with light from the pole walkers who guided the Santa float with their brightly decorated walking poles to all of the floats and big trucks that showed up and participated. I danced along with the HDA dancers, and with the Kawartha Kavaliers as they made their way twirling and playing down the street. The whole parade filled everyones heart and light and love was in the air. This is a bright and shining community. Thank you to everyone who made it happen. You, shining your light makes our community a better place. It takes all of us. I am so glad I live in this community. Shine your light everyone!