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A Meditation on Light. Friday December 25, 2015

I'm looking at the twinkling lights on my Christmas tree. And the Angel who sits atop. One of my friends calls me his Angel.

No – not in any romantic way; that would be entirely inappropriate. He calls me his Angel of Light because he's going through a tough time at the moment and my daily Facebook posts and light-hearted messages bring light and joy into his day.

Myself – I think I'm more of a glow worm than an angel. As the little poem by Taylor Russel goes:

Oh I wish I was a glow worm,
for a glow worm's never glum,
'cause how can you be grumpy,
when the sun shines out your bum!

But regardless of the differences between angels and glow worms we all know the importance of light. Just ask anyone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Four days ago was the shortest day for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. And the longest night. It is not a co-incidence that the feast of Christmas falls three days after the planet starts tipping towards the sun again. That's counting it as starting Christmas Eve, naturally.

Even before the early Christians adopted this date for their own it was already an important pagan festival marking the rebirth of the sun after the darkest part of the year. All mankind recognises how essential is light; and with light, warmth. I think we who suffer with depression understand this more profoundly than most.

Today is Christmas – or most accurately, the day of Christ's Mass. One of the many names for Jesus is The Light of the World and Isaiah speaks of this in a passage often read at Christmas:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has shone.

What powerful imagery is this for those of us who, if not permanent residents, are all too familiar with that land of darkness?

One of my favourite prayers is said in the Anglican service of Evening Prayer. It too is about light.

"Lighten our darkness we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers and dangers of this night, for the love of your only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ."

The imagery of light is not limited to religion. We speak of the light of knowledge. Amnesty International use the phrase, "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." And I know that when I was going through my dark time recently, those lovely people who said they would come and sit with me in my emotional dungeon, just holding a candle, gave me a huge lift.

We say "You're a star!" when we want to thank someone. A star gives light and warmth. Wise men followed the star and – we're back to Christmas. It's a bit difficult to escape it right now!

So, regardless of whether you share my Christian faith, or how or indeed whether you celebrate Christmas, I wish you peace, joy and light for this feast held in the darkest portion of the year.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Eva Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 7:44am

Merry Christmas Mary, love the glow worm poem. And to everyone else too, I hope everyone has as merry and stress free a day as possible. It has been interesting reading about everyones Xmas coping solutions over the last few blogs, arm yourselves with your tools and strategies and go forth into the 25th. I am lighting a metaphoric candle for my dad, breathing deeply and going out for a walk before the day commences. We have a beautiful full gold setting moon currently which was a lovely Xmas gift to me first thing.

LillyPet Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 8:22am

That's beatuful Eva :) Merry Christmas to you too LP:)

Mary Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 11:53am

Beautiful Eva. Remember your father with joy.

Another Sally Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 8:40am

Happy Christmas Mary and best wishes to all bloggers.
Mary you word your posts so beautifully. Thank you for bringing light to my day.
Thankfully, I am feeling good today and just off to have a walk with the dog.
Take care one and all.

Mary Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 11:54am

Dar AS - so pleased you're feeling good today. May that continue. Peace and blessings on you.

LillyPet Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 8:40am

Ahhh Mary! Wishing you peace, joy and light too! What a beautiful gift of warm glowing light you have given us today! Thank you lovely!
The sky is beatifully bright and clear here in London. I have that sleepy jetlagged feeling of a mum whose stayed up until 3am wrapping gifts!:) That familiar pushing myself to do as much as I can on my own to make this special day for us as lovely as I can for us.
My scores are good today. I feel proud that I have got the balance right between family and what I need for me.It was a moodscoper who suggested that perhaps I could pop in to see my parents fir part of the day and thats exactly what I'm doing :)
Sending each and every one of you love and a big warm hug!
Passing on Mary's peace joy and light, like passing her special candle to the person next :) LP XXX

Mary Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 11:55am

Love you LillyPet! And yes - same here! Father Christmas must have made us one of his last stops as it was 2.30am before he arrived! Thank you for the hug, Much appreciated.

Angela Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 11:58am

Thank you as always for your blog Mary, I have Christian faith but still struggle like mad sometimes. Any way, I wish all moodscopers a peaceful and happy time this Christmas season x x x

Mary Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 3:30pm

Oh Angela, we all do. We know that (in the words of one very thoughtful Christian sermon from a vicar friend - no stranger to grief, bereavement and depression himself), "So if I tell you that knowing the Spirit of God is alongside me and within me, freeing me up to be the person I was created to be from the very beginning, and helping me, slowly, slowly, to overcome the worst of my faults and become more human and outward-looking, and less self-centred, well hey that's Good News isn't it?" But oh, that process is slow and sometimes (many times) we seem that we're going backwards not forwards. We think of the parable of the sower and are convinced that we are the shallow soil, or the soil full of tares, thistles and weeds. Yet God loves us, abides with us and walks alongside us as we struggle. Read the whole of mt friend's sermon . If ever a vicar was fully human and understandable it is he. But - it is when we are struggling most that is when God is nearest to us. And when we hear that verse "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven" and we think, "yeah - but I don't exactly shine!" We need to remember that a small candle in the darkness is brighter than the sun at night. Angela my dear - blessings on you. Please keep commenting. I cannot tell you how much each comment on my poor posts inspires me and keeps me going. Honestly, really and truly, you readers give me far more back than I give to you. Happy Christmas my dear.

Brum Mum Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 12:24pm

Mary, thank you for a wonderful Christmas Day blog. You bring so much to Moodscope. I too have a Christian faith which is glimmering rather than burning bright at the moment. I will use your words as my meditation for the next few days. Well, I'm having a coffee and rest waiting for my extocome round with kids so we can all open our presents. The beef is cooking and any minute I need to go and warm the blinis in the oven. Get some rest and have a joyful Christmas BrumMum xx

Mary Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 3:40pm

Brum Mum. You inspire us. A number of my friends who are Moodscope users (but rarely commentators) have said to me "I love Brum Mum's posts; I can really connect to her." Please read what I have replied to Angela above: it's to you too. Also I have just watched the Queen's Christmas message. It is lovely that at Christmas she is free to share her own Christian faith with her subjects. She and I obviously had a visit from the same Christmas Angel as our Christmas messages were so similar (mine but a pale, pale candle to her sun!) Thank you indeed. This for me is a blessed, Blessed Christmas, as we are sharing it with our adopted son Tom, his Jenny and her (but their, of course - and now our) three year old. I am just about to post on FB a picture of our sitting room when you have Christmas with a three year old! Go search Mary Hill Huntingdon. My posts are public - but feel free to friend me if you would like (just PM me so I know who you are). You will also on FB discover Tom's real name as I protect him and others on MS - I am sure you will understand...

Lex Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 12:41pm

Love the Glow-worm!
Always thought the Sun shined out of your bum!!!

Mrs Jul A Non Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 3:35pm

Are you having a good Christmas Lex? Love Julia xxx

Mrs Jul A Non Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 3:35pm

Mwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Julia

Mary Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 4:00pm

Can we do a mutual shining do you think? We could hire ourselves out to rock concerts. Mwwwwwwaaaaaahhhhhh x 2 to you too!

susan Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 1:24pm

Christmas blessings, everyone. Mary, thank you...your blog has something for everyone. I haven't thought of the Evensong prayer for a while. Beautiful. Wishing you the peace that passes all understanding. xx

Mary Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 4:00pm

Thank you Susan. Deeply appreciated.

Maria Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 4:31pm

Wishing all Peace, Love, Light and Joy this holiday season and throughout the New Year. With that follows good health :)

Kit Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 6:22pm

great post for today, thank you

Rebecca Fri, Dec 25th 2015 @ 10:53pm

Merry Christmas, hope everyone had a good day.x

the room above the garage Sat, Dec 26th 2015 @ 10:33am

Wonderful Mary, I adore the glow worm!! Tried to post yesterday but the three times I tried I was hauled into something...but never mind, here now, better late than never. (Another 2.30am Christmas Eve here too...what a bunch we are) There is a torchlight procession here attended by thousands, your post made me think of it. Everyone walks the 5 miles up the hill carrying a wax torch and it is a stunning sight , snaking through the streets. Light is important to me (my body certainly responds for the better and worse). Thank you for your lovely blog Mary, peaceful days to you all xx.

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