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Personal & Spiritual Development

The Dark Can Be Luminous, and It Can Be Lonely

Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom, First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee

When the earth turns away from the sun and the land grows colder and darker, people huddle around fires and light candles, drawing towards one another. Different holidays celebrate human connection, hope, and mystery.

The growing darkness invites a turning in, a quiet time of introspection. The darkness creates a nestled cocoon, a place where striking a match catches the eye and asks: Who am I? Where are we? What is the meaning of this deep mystery?

As many people prepare for holidays, travel, and family, we are invited into the roots of our being. Where did we come from? How did it shape us? How are we choosing to shape ourselves?

There are also many people who will not be with those they love this season, by choice or circumstance. Regardless, when it seems the whole culture is jostling for connection, isolation can feel sharp.

May you have the balm you need this season, honored in your choices and comforted in your circumstances.

The dark can be luminous, and it can be lonely. Mystery can feel like a wide-open expanse of wonder, and it can feel like frightening ambiguity.

As a religious community, may we remember this time of year is different for everyone, despite cultural proclamations of sameness, and may we turn to those around us with curiosity, compassion, and love for their particular experiences and needs.

May we be one another’s shelter in the dark.

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