Today is the shortest and tonight is the longest of the year.
With recent political upheavals in the world and ongoing environmental abuses and evidence of climate change it can be all to easy to focus on darkness and suffering.
To be still in the Dark and to find the Light within ourselves and one another feels more important than ever.
“The mystery of darkness and divine light belongs to each of us and to the world. We are the world waiting in the darkness and we are the light waiting to be born. It is only too easy to see the darkness around us — the forgetfulness of the sacred nature of creation, the destruction and desecration of our beautiful and suffering world. We should not avoid being aware of what we are doing to the world, but we need also to turn toward the light that is waiting within our own heart and the heart of the world. We need to hold this sacred light in our hearts and our life. We need to be the prayer for the world in this time of darkness.”
Image source/artist :: unknown
I wasn’t planning to choose a word for 2013. Nor am I one for new year’s resolutions. But, I awoke this morning to find that a word has chosen me. Illumination.
Before I started to look into the etymology of illumination I was already pretty excited about it. It means to bring light to a dark place or to brighten the mind with knowledge. Illumination can come to us from another source or it can shine from us onto others. It may be deep within the darkness that we see the light or in our darkest hour that the light comes to us.
“One thing that comes out in myths is that at the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation.
The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come.
At the darkest moment comes the light.”
-— Joseph Campbell, Irish-American mythologist
“We are each gifted in a unique and important way.
It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.”
— Evelyn Mary Dunbar, British artist
Lumen de lumine
illumination (n.) late 14c., “spiritual enlightenment,” from L. illuminationem (nom. illuminatio), from pp. stem of illuminare “to throw into light, make bright, light up;” (see light (n.)).
- light (n.) “brightness, radiant energy,” Old English leht, earlier leoht “light, daylight; luminous, beautiful.”
- Light also means to “touch down,” from Old English lihtan “to alight; alleviate, leave.” I drew this on my studio blackboard back in August:
- Something that’s a joy and a delight has been the light of (someone’s) eyes since Old English: Ðu eart dohtor min, minra eagna leoht [Juliana].
On New Year’s Eve with the light of my eyes
- I love that illumination is my word. It feels that all I need to do is wait to be set alight. Now that we are on the other side of the Winter Solstice, the light is indeed coming.
- Source: Online Etymological Dictionary.