Lightening after taking down the lights

by | Jan 31, 2022 | Faith, Nature | 2 comments |

I took our seasonal lightening down this morning. Since Thanksgiving, the loft garland lights stayed on from the moment of our pre-dawn arising to bedtime. We’d come to expect that lightening; the lights looped over the loft railings greeted us every morning along with the smell of fresh-brewed coffee. Lightening our waking lives—until today.

As I packed the garland lights away for another year, I wondered.

Where will we find our lightening now?

Daytime lightening

Daylight lengthens after the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Keith and I note the earlier sunrises and later sunsets—here’s a sunrise and sunset calculator, in case you’re interested. Increased daylight provides longed-for lightening. Though cold and snowy here at Vanaprastha, the weight of darkness is lifting.

And soon garden making, al fresco dining. Sunshine warming our faces. Spring in our steps.

Possession lightening

Every-so-often, I rebel against the piles of clutter on my desk, in my closets, around the house. Papers, books, clothing—what do I really need to keep? Lightening.

What am I ready to let go?

Relationship lightening

Some people have the gift of optimism. They don’t take themselves too seriously and find humor everywhere they go. I am not that person. 

But if I shine a light on my Eeyore pessimism, even I can laugh at myself. Lightening up my relationships with my husband, friends, family, and neighbors.

Last Friday afternoon, as Cato and I made our way back up the mountain road from picking up the mail, it started to snow. Flurries at first, then in earnest. We saw one of our neighbors driving down his driveway, so we stopped to say hello. 

He rolled down his window, waved and said, “Another day in paradise.”

“Yes, it is,” I said, grinning and waving back. And we both meant it.

This is the scene that greeted us the next morning. God-created lightening. 

Lightening: encouraging, reassuring, refreshing, soothing, abating, allaying, alleviating, assuaging, consoling, curing, freeing, inspiriting, invigorating, mitigating, relieving, remedying, restoring, revitalizing, revivifying, softening, solacing, succoring, sustaining, tranquilizing, upholding, warming, consolatory.

Health-giving, heart-warming.


  1. Gary Fultz

    He really does. Sometimes when I get up at 3:00am it seems light out with al the stars and a bright moon reflecting off the white snow. Even the wooded areas are lighted and huge shadows of trees in the yard are pasted on the snow.

    • Carole Duff

      Wonderful, Gary, isn’t it? Moonlight reflecting off snow at night always reminds me of being a child at Christmas.


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