Carolyn Merry 22 Dec 2022
As I travelled last week down the M6 in the cold snap that blanketed much of the country, the combination of darkness, fog and frozen screenwash meant much reduced visibility and required me carefully keeping the lights of the line of trucks in front me in my sightline. I followed those lights to services, to safety, as well as to food, warmth and a screenwash designed for lower temperatures! I was so grateful for the company and lights of those trucks on that dark and foggy night.
There are times in our lives when we are dependent on the lights of others, whether literally as in my M6 mini-adventure, or figuratively when people (family, friends and even strangers) show up in our periods of darkness and bring light in the form of company, understanding, a hug, food or a bed to sleep on.
At other times, we are those lights for others.
2022 has been for many people a year that has continued to be marked by the pandemic and ill-health, as well as cost of living crisis, violence and war near and far, increasing erosion of rights, dignity and protection of the environment, and layers of change that have seemed at times overwhelming. It has been a challenging year in which the light we have provided for each other has had increased importance.
I have had several conversations this year about hope – mostly with others, but sometimes in my own head and heart too. Reading the signs/trends in today’s world can be a challenge to the most optimistic amongst us….and that has certainly been the case for me. However, there is also a link between hope and light for me that has helped me through those times when my hope in a more peaceful and loving world has wavered. The light we offer one another doesn’t need to be very bright, even a flicker on a dark night provides orientation, connection and hope….and even more importantly, the more of us providing light in dark times, the less darkness there is.
As a Christian, Christmas is a good reminder of how transformative light in the darkness can be. But it is in the time between Christmases that light really comes to the fore - when we take down our sparkly decorations and lights, it is us who are called to be lights, and to draw on the lights of others when our own flickers or dims.
For all of you who work for peace and reconciliation in our increasingly divided and fearful world - you help provide light in dark times. Thank you!
May this Christmas and New Year be a blessed time for you and your loved ones. Whatever your faith or traditions, may we all be nourished and sustained by hope and peace and love.
“The light we offer one another doesn’t need to be very bright, even a flicker on a dark night provides orientation, connection and hope….and even more importantly, the more of us providing light in dark times, the less darkness there is.” — Carolyn Merry