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I look for light–especially in this season. And though the darkness can seem oppressive, I am grateful—even joyful—for the cracks in it. As Leonard Cohen‘s “Anthem” says,

“Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in. . .”

Here is my list of light in the cracks this December:

  1. Seeing stars. I remember a beautiful note written by a friend after Elizabeth’s death. He quoted lines from Romeo and Juliet and applied them to my daughter, saying that she “will make the face of heaven so fine/That all the world will be in love with night/And pay no worship to the garish sun.” I still walk outside at night to see those stars, and I remember all the friends and family and those I did not know who continue to send small pieces of light to illuminate dark times.

  2. Seeing Moravian stars. The many-pointed Moravian star originated in Saxony,Porch star – Version 2 Germany in the 1830s. The stars may have been part of geometry lessons to young boys attending Moravian school. In Winston-Salem, they are ubiquitous and luminous in the darkening December. The soft glow of those lighted points offer hope and nudge us to shine light, to be light too.


3. Seeing Moravian beeswax candles. These candles light up our love feast services, fragrant with the memory of bees and honey. They beckon us toward the light and challenge us to be the light, to be with the light in the world.



4. Seeing sunrises and sunsets that are magnificent in the cold—like this one at our Farther Along writing group’s recent retreat where the rising sun bloomed giving magnificent reflections of color and light.



5. Seeing Winter light. It is almost time for the turning of the season, the winter solstice when the days begin to inch toward more light instead of more dark. By Thursday next week, we will be halfway out of the dark, moving courageously toward light.

I am holding December lightly, the birth month of my daughter whose light is missed even more this time of year. And I am hopeful that cracks in the dark not only allow the light to get in but allow it to get out too.

Thanks to Denise Hunt for the use of her beeswax candle photo (above).

See again Looking for stars for more about Advent stars.