Call it what you will Samhain, Halloween or Nos Calan Gaeaf that time has come and here in Glasgow I feel the winter approaching. There’s still time to jump in piles of leaves if you can find any that haven’t been soaked in rain but the year is shifting.
I like this time of year. I know for some the increasing dark brings a range of problems and they dread it. Most of the time I like it. I don’t like hot days and I struggle in bright sunshine as being in the brightness gradually hurts my eyes and can give me headaches if I’m not careful. But the dark is gentler for me. I’m fortunate enough to be able to keep warm and dry, to listen to the wind and rain outside and enjoy it most of the time.
This time of year for me is also about family celebrations so that’s another level of warmth I can bask in. Not just the winter solstice, Yule and New Year activities but birthdays too. Family birthday celebrations are not usually very big gatherings so I don’t have to brace myself for increasingly large social gatherings. I’m happy with that. I’m happy in my understanding of why I struggle with larger social activities. I’ll happily sit down and have a cuppa with one or two friends in a quiet place though.
For me darkness is comforting. If it’s clear at night I can see the wonder of the stars, it’s very rare that we are in complete darkness. And the dark night of the soul or the dark gods and goddesses? Without darkness how do we appreciate light? I’m not saying these things are easy but they can be embraced. And we can learn from the things in the darkness too.
If you struggle with darkness you are not alone. Neither are you alone if you welcome the dark.