I vote we make light an element.
Earth, wind, fire, and water are all fine. But this splendor that is both wave and particle deserves wonder and reverence all on its own.
On this long, dark evening the subdued whisper and crack of our cheery blaze gives gentle competition to murmuring Christmas music. With our supper dishes removed to the kitchen, Ken and I sit close to the glow where dining and digestion are most satisfying. He reads, I write. The bobbing tongues of light — those mesmerizing flames springing from the logs on our hearth — insist I lift my eyes from the screen and tip into their power. I am not surprised.
Light fascinates me.
It stops me in my tracks. And often, if not totally bewitched, I reach for my camera or iPhone. And my fascination grows. Four years of living in southern California have made me more aware of light than ever. Noticing the shift of sunlight across my patio as the earth sails round the sun and tips toward or away from that light gives me such pleasure. I consult sun and shade patterns before setting out breakfast or arranging my reading chair in the garden.
When night falls by 5:00 each evening, every moment of daylight seems more precious. While working in my studio I treasure the hours of natural light I have.
As we approach the depths of December, no wonder our attraction to light. Firelight. Sunlight. Candlelight. Reflected light. Twinkling strings of light. Light filtered through curtains or clouds. It makes sense that in times of greatest darkness our appreciation, our yearning for light grows. (And yes, I’m thinking of the darkness that struck Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.)
In times of sorrow or seasons of celebration the best we can do is hold each other in the light.
Whether this reading finds you marking the Feast of Lights, anticipating the Winter Solstice, or remembering the birthday of a baby called the Light of the World, bright light and love to you and yours.