Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2016 >Daily Dispatch #108


December 21, 2016: From Darkness to Light

Well here I go, embarking on yet another New Year. For me, the New Year begins on the Solstice, the time in which there is a literal shift, from darkness to light – the days grow longer, longer, longer, that is until June 21 when there is again another shift, this one from light to darkness.

My self-designated New Year is not arbitrary or capricious, nor am I attempting to break the chains of tradition. For me, the New Year that I’m speaking of is a turning point, light provides me with much-needed mental and physical sustenance. This seems to be more and more so as I grow older.

We had a bonfire here last night. It was a quiet, still, windless evening, perfect for such a thing. It was cold, but it was a dry cold. It was very, very dark by 5 p.m. Inky dark. We got back from town, had gone to Anchorage for Feldenkrais class. Pete made chili and muffins. I got the sled and dragged some pallet pieces and hollow logs down to the fire pit. I had to approximate where I emptied the sled because the pit was buried under the snow. Pete and I eventually swapped places – I finished doing indoor stuff and Pete got the fire going. When finally, I came outside, our neighbor Judy and my friend Betty had arrived, soon to be followed by Cath and her husband Ray. Betty brought Patton, her dog – Patty is a husky mix, a very, very wise dog. You don’t meet many like Patton very often.

The bonfire was Betty’s idea, as was her thought that she and I should write up affirmations and then toss them in the fire. This, she said, would be a celebration. I said this made sense to me. Betty and I read and discarded our affirmations after Cath and Ray and Pete went to up to the house. Judy stayed to listen. Betty said that her affirmations concerned those things she wanted to embrace and those she wanted to get rid of. She went first. Hers were carefully thought out, moving, very articulate. One by one, she tossed each one into the hollow log after she read it. It was amazing to watch – after she tossed the piece of paper into the log there was a poof and a large orange puff of flame. It was as if Mother Nature was acknowledging the importance of Betty’s thoughts.

I was next. I’d written my affirmation on a single sheet of notebook paper, but I could not, when the time came, cut them up. This seemed to be an instance in which I valued narrative continuity. I had for some time thought about my affirmations. But I came up short when it came to write and revise them. This was very unusual for me. I thought, as I went to read them that they were paltry. My first shot missed when I tossed it at the log, affirming this. But there was a large poof when I tossed the paper wad directly into the log. And after, Judy, Betty and I had a fairly serious and heartfelt talk about affirmations, affirming their importance.

It was right after we talked that I felt this inexplicable sense of relief, it was as though someone had lifted a heavy weight off my chest. And this feeling remained with me all day today. I went for a morning walk with Pete and Hrimmi and Tyra – and later went to the Mat-Su College Christmas party. Later, I got a haircut, and oddly enough, I did not talk all that much with Betty about last night.

I should have told her that this was a wonderful way to begin the New Year. And I should have told her that the affirmations were life affirming. And I should have told her that I was glad she brought Patton along. And I should have told her that her affirmations moved me. Maybe the opportunity will again present itself to do this.

Light. In its absence we need to carry it in our hearts, and like a torch, pass it on to others. It should be that when we part company with people that they feel warm all over, like they’ve been touched by the heat of the reappearing sun.

Next: 109. 12/22/16: Anatomy and Physiology

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles