Searching for Light on the Winter Solstice


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Photo by Kary Schumpert

Today is significant. It’s the winter solstice, the shortest day and the longest night and then we turn toward longer days in the light of the sun.

In the last few months, I have been deep in the study of spirituality and figuring out the way for my heart. I have been looking for my own light. I have been figuring out what creates that light. How do I find it? How do I keep it ignited? What is it? How do I spread it? How do I share it?

Major religions speak of light. In Christianity, Jesus is known as the “Light of the world.” In Buddhism, seekers reach for enlightenment. I would argue that we are all of that. We are the light of the world. We find it in ourselves, in each other. We work on ourselves. We give love and kindness in our actions. We seek enlightenment. I think we can embrace it all. We can pray and meditate and seek the divine within ourselves.

I have much reading and living to do. I have much study and contemplation to pursue. I am figuring out what this means in my life. I find light. I question. I argue. I pray. I meditate. I take deep breaths. Along the way, I find bits of life and bits of light.

Last night, I went for a run, looking for light and for lightness. It was a short run, three miles, just around the busy streets of my neighborhood. I realized I needed to go on this run alone, to pursue my own light. Glints of light, glimpses along the way. The light I found was in contrast to the dark winter night. As I ran, I pondered the beauty, listened to my breath, and thought of the new year ahead.

A good chunk of this fall, I enjoyed long conversations with a friend about the spiritual path. We argued and discussed. We shared ideas. I made a few points. I felt engaged. Reading and relating. Arguing and agreeing. Yelling and whispering. Reflecting and replying. Listening and loving.

I take that as a beginning. I have a list of books to read and contemplate over the winter. I have new paths to forge. I have a yoga practice to re-start with enthusiasm. I have a meditation practice to strengthen. I have a local church and spiritual organization to join. I have an online class to take in January to expand my perspective. I have a life and light to live and pursue. I have new friendships and relationships to find and older relationships to renew and release. I am learning that this is a lifelong journey. There are fits and starts. It’s big and abstract and unwieldy, but it’s all there. Within. Without. There is light. There is love.

We begin. We look for light. We pray. We find. We seek. We help others. We set a path. We go off trail. We join others. We question. We find peace. We regain ourselves. We drop the charades. We drop our layers of armor. We love. We light the way.

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Author: Kary Schumpert @runningintolife

I am a composter, an environmental educator, a runner, a writer.

2 thoughts on “Searching for Light on the Winter Solstice”

  1. Yes—our spiritual lives really are a process of discovery. As a Christian, I have to feel my way anew every day, and I find it not always easy. Thank you for your beautiful meditations, and bless you in your path forward into the new year.

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