This is the season of lighting candles. Hanukkah is called the Festival of Lights. Christmas celebrations include candlelight whether at the dinner table or in church or singing carols in Jackson Square. Lighting candles on New Years Eve brings light into the new year.
Christmas lights are the modern version of lighting candles as the days darken early. Even if you live in a warm climate the twinkly lights that come on at dusk and remain on all through the night brighten the spirit. Humans need light.
We spent some time teaching tango in the winter in Anchorage, Alaska. It was an amazing experience. Morning light comes around ten in the morning, and darkness starts to fall around two in the afternoon. The famous endless nights. The mayor of Anchorage requests citizens to put up their Christmas lights early, and leave them up all winter to help keep spirits light.
So today, to bring in the Winter Solstice, I give you a roundup of candle light to bring some virtual light into your day.
Many of you have had a a rough year. Loved ones have passed away. Jobs have been lost. Illnesses have become a way of life. Homes have been foreclosed on. Warriors have fallen. Crazy inhumane acts perpetuated by humans pepper the news. Politicians put us into a funk.
It's also been a year of babies being born. Human generosity and kindness far out weigh meanness and depravity. Laughter and silliness lift us all. Creativity and the arts inspire and motivate us. Home making and all it entails feathers our nests to make it possible to enjoy the world outside our doors.
These are vast generalizations for sure, maybe a bit like a greeting card. Despite set backs and betrayals, disappointments and frustrations, humans remain optimistic creatures, always dusting themselves off and moving along with life.
Gratitude has become the new little black dress. Gratitude platitudes pepper the social media. If you write it and say that you have gratitude, then perhaps it makes it more real. Everyone says they are grateful.
It's hard to function. It takes courage. It takes discipline. It's a chore to live day to day life. But live we do. Perhaps wearing gratitude on our sleeve moves us from the grind into enjoyment, into a lightness of spirit.
So light some candles during this winter season. Bring in the light and warmth. Leave your Christmas lights up for an extra week or two. No matter what funk you are in, when you open your eyes in the morning light, breath out a "thank you".
Alberto and I are no different in having the same trials and travails you all experience. Many blog friends, tango friends, and family have suffered loss this year. We cry with you, and we worry with you.
Yet, we remain hopeful and happy, and we wish you and yours the same, especially now during the Winter Solstice; The Festival of Lights (Hanukkah); the Christmas season ~ We wish you Hope and Happiness.
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