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Lights in the December Darkness

Hand Lettered Yogi Bhajan Quote

"Travel light, live light, spread light, be the light"

Yogi Bhajan

 Over the past few years, Kenny and I have really moved away from celebrating Christmas - it's not a bah humbug thing really, we both just feel sort of turned-off by the huge amounts of consumerism and waste that go hand in hand with the festivities. Like, in theory, the idea of spending time with family, exchanging a few, simple gifts and eating something super tasty all sounds enjoyable and pretty harmless, unfortunately though Christmas these days rarely seems to look like that, at least in our experiences.

There are still a lot of things I love about this time of year though, and as I walked around the city centre a few nights ago with my sister, I was reminded of another one: the lights. Winter in Scotland can really be a dark and dreary affair - for every day of blue skies and crisp weather, it feels like there's a weeks worth of grey skies and oppressive rain. In December though, the fact it gets dark at 4pm doesn't seem so bad, because then, the whole city centre sparkles!

There is something so beautiful about light; in the literal sense, the twinkling fairy lights bringing a feeling of warmth to the rainy Glasgow streets, and also in the abstract; that in our words, in our behaviour - in just smiling at people in the streets, we too can be light.

I've been struggling a bit lately with feeling like I'm not doing enough to help others - truthfully I'm not earning what I need to be to sustain myself and so I struggle to donate much to charity, or to sacrafice much time to volunteering. I don't like that feeling - and I am going to take steps to remedy it on a larger scale in the new year. But, I also like to remind myself of this concept of "being the light". Even tiny twinkling fairy lights can cheer up a rainy night, just as even smiling at people can. If you see someone looking great, if you love their hair, if you thing their nail colour is stunning, tell them.

Bake cakes for a local charity morning, say "Hi" to the new person that has moved into the building - smiles are contagious, kindness catches on. One smile becomes another, becomes a "good morning", becomes a shared experience - and I truly believe that it is in these little acts, these little sparks of light, that the magic of Christmas, the brightening of winter, can be most truly felt.


Glasgow, UK

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