This month has been very hard. I am feeling responsible for every ugly thing my children do. I am feeling the ugliness inside myself as well and it seems unrelenting.
I was feeling especially discouraged when I thought about the goal of keeping the Light alive through the winter. We were at forest school and my 3yo was screaming and wailing because she was too cold. No wonder, since she refused to wear anything more than her pajamas and sandles. It was 45 degrees out and I decided to let her experience it her way. I brought along her hat, socks, vest, sweatshirt, woollen pants, mittens and boots, but no way was she going to wear them!
So we ended up leaving, and I was frustrated and disappointed. And I was trying to imagine the life of those who live in those temperatures. I was chastising myself for having our house an artificial, cushy 64 degrees, and giving her a false sense of the season. But I have our temperature set that 'high' because I still find myself wearing a sweatshirt all day and a hat in the evening. I wondered about myself: perhaps without that climate control I would just be one of those people who is grouchy and uncomfortable all winter long. Then I imagined that opening feeling of moving into the Light and warmth of the summer.
And I thought: why should it be easy? Isn't the reason we have winter festivals: light upon light from Michaelmas, to Martinmas, to Advent, to Christmas, to Epiphany, to St. Brigid's day, because it is hard to keep our inner Light alive?
This is my work as an adult to keep my flame alight through the coldness and darkness and ugliness. I love, love love all the pretty of lanterns, and spices, and evergreens, and presents, and candles and feasts, but those are all analogies. My Work is within me.
So I came home and turned down the thermostat.