winter season

The Season of the Dark

lightsI call the months from October to January, (when the days finally start to lengthen) the “ Season of the Dark.” My rituals stem from the celebration of light in the dark. I love this special time of year, despite its commercial exploitation, for the palpable experience it provides.

Growing up in a family that was not traditionally religious, yet still connected to the foundation of spirituality, rooted me in seasonal tradition. My father grew up Jewish and my mother a Southern Baptist. Together our family created a compromise based in love.

I have somehow continued to honor ritual around the light with my own family, and am now aware that my daughter, even in her distracted teenage years, appreciates them. I saw how adamantly resistant she was when we contemplated a possible trip away from home during the Holidays. Her excitement during this time has spurred me on to establish new holiday rituals ones that my own New England family would never have embraced.

It wasn’t until I moved to the Midwest that I joined the frenzy of decorating the exterior of the house. New Englanders rarely string orange and white lights that look like candy corn all over the front porch, as well as hang spider webs and giant bugs over the railings. [Read More…]

By |December 15th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Motherhood, Rituals & Spirituality|Tags: , , |5 Comments

Lessons and Carols

 For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything thy goodness sends.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

 Leave it to a seemingly-clueless sixth-grade boy, who still needs to be reminded of some of the basic principles of functioning in life, such as the importance of brushing one’s teeth before leaving the house in the morning, or using something other than one’s shirt to wipe one’s mouth, to come home enthusiastically sharing the wisdom of his newly-discovered gift of an old poem, which pretty much sums up what is truly important, a flurry of words so crystal clear in simplicity and truth, reminding us of what really matters. [Read More…]

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