The returning of the Light

Early this morning from our living room window, over the rooftops, I spied mist covered fields beneath a clear blue sky.

I pulled boots and a warm gilet over my pj’s and went out for a walk beyond my village and out into the countryside.

The only people out and about were the posties, some shop keepers, a few dog walkers and their charges.   I said to the greengrocer ‘Isn’t it quiet  .  .  .  .   but busy day today?’  He shook his head and said ‘Calm before the storm.’

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Steve and I are all set for the holidays.  We have a pretty relaxed and mellow time over Christmas.  We exchange heartfelt gifts and enjoy cooking and eating even more fabulous food than usual.  We did some final food and gift shopping yesterday in Exeter.  It was somewhat manic and I was glad to return home after a couple of hours in town.
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While I was walking down the lane I thought about Christmas. The seasonal films we’ve been watching – A Christmas Carol, A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life –  are about finding the ‘true meaning’ of the Yuletide, usually the importance of friends, family and love for our fellows.  I also observe how so many people are focused on the materialism of the Christmas holiday and stressed out about needing to create the ‘perfect’ day.
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I wondered about what it would be like to completely strip back the gifts, cards and feasting. What would remain? Would there even be a holiday?

My thoughts went back to the time long before the legend about Jesus being the son of God was peddled and before the Bible was written.  What there always has been is the return of the light, the days drawing out and the turning of the year to fruition. We have always and still do depend upon this for our survival. Not just humans, but all life.
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This holiday, this Holy Day, celebrates the life force which animates every living thing. We gather together with our loved ones to remember that we are not alone. We feast on rich foods to nourish and sustain us through the darkest and leanest time of the year. And we light a candle to mark the returning of the light.
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3 thoughts on “The returning of the Light

  1. Thanks Melinda, just been watching a TV programme about Christmas feasting which said a similar thing (BBC4), about mid winter feasitng
    Photos exquisite, thank you and have a lovely day xx

  2. Beautiful insightful words and calming hopeful pictures. The thought of relinquishing all gifts reminded me of two opposing things. One being my husband fifty years ago asking everyone who would give him a present to either give him something they had made or money. He only received money. The other was about my son who loves to play the piano. He saw a bargain beautiful piano one Christmas and just happened to mention it but saying it was way beyond his reach. Everyone said they would chip in but it was still unattainable. His children who were around ten years at the time said to their mother they wanted him to have it and that they would rather go without presents so he could have it. His wife did too. No one made a song and dance about it and they bought him the piano.I have never quite got over this act of selflessness. Incidentally he was unaware until it was d3livered other2ise he would have refused.

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