Time to Light Our Winter Nights

November was a crazy month. The election happened, of course, with nonstop political news. And on a personal level it felt crazy as we prepared for my daughter’s wedding and tried to keep our balance when my daughter was hospitalized with a stomach bug and her fiancé lost his father in a work-related accident two weeks before their wedding.

Each of those things on their own produced stress. All of them together made stress-avoidance impossible. 

But here we are in a new month. We’ve gone through illness, grief, and ended with celebration. My daughter and her new husband are on their honeymoon. The winter holidays are here.

As I think about why the winter holidays are so important in so many cultures, I consider how they bring light. Twinkling lights, fire light, the light on people’s faces when they gather for some good cheer. I saw a lot of that at my daughter’s wedding on Saturday as people gathered in candlelight on a snowy evening that honored new beginnings and commitment. The light we bring and the light we share keeps us going through all kinds of darkness, whether it’s the darkness of sad events or the darkness of winter. 

And so, this week, I’m getting ready to string up holiday lights. I’m going to hold close the warmth of family and close friends with whom I’ve spent a lot of time over the past month. I’m going to celebrate the gifts of winter and the opportunity to share light whenever possible.

10 Comments

  1. Kathleen, I love your attitude, you ability to see the light even in the darkness of difficulties. That’s one of the things I appreciate most about you, besides your remarkable writing talents.

    I am sorry for the loss of your son-in-law’s father two weeks before the wedding. I cannot imagine.

    I am thankful for the love your daughter has found in her new husband, for the celebration of that love even on a snowy Minnesota day. I thought of you on Saturday and hoped the weather didn’t change any wedding plans or keep guests away.

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  2. Lights help push back the dark, which is a good thing for some of us. Plus, they are pretty. 🙂 I need to put my Christmas lights up and push back the dark on my street. And sadly, the neighbors whose lights could be seen from space have moved. Now I’ll need a flashlight to get my mail…

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    1. Yes, pushing back the dark, whatever it is, is the whole idea. I lit the little tree we put upstairs for the first time tonight. I love it! I have to admit, though, that I like the early dark because I hear our neighborhood owls hoot then. That’s pretty cool – I like that as much as the holiday lights. 🙂

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  3. WOW Kathleen, that’s a lot. You made it through. Well done and huge congrats on the wedding. Happy Christmas A xxx

    Virus-free. http://www.avg.com

    On Wed, Dec 5, 2018 at 8:11 AM ONE MINNESOTA WRITER wrote:

    > Kathleen Cassen Mickelson posted: ” November was a crazy month. The > election happened, of course, with nonstop political news. And on a > personal level it felt crazy as we prepared for my daughter’s wedding and > tried to keep our balance when my daughter was hospitalized with a stomach > bug a” >

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