Yesterday was the winter solstice, making last night the longest night darkness-wise of the year. I was reflecting on that fact and the proximity of the greatest darkness so near to our celebration of the birth of Christ and the light he brings to the darkness. Now, I realize that we celebrate Christmas in December despite the fact that Christ’s birth was probably nowhere near this time of the year and that it was done in keeping with replacing pagan festivals with Christian ones, but I am going to stick with my analogy anyway.
Darkness being banished by light is a common theme in our literature and media. The hero’s journey is founded on the overcoming of darkness or evil with good. Comic books and their related movies are founded on good guys ultimately thwarting the bad guys and supernatural events upending the dark plans of the adversary. So, it is interesting to me that even in this we see the longest night shortly followed by a celebration of light and life.
I have found many times in life that light always finally breaks through the darkness. The darkness may seem unending, but as surely as day follows night, the darkness goes away. And, although there was probably some coordination involved, I prefer to believe this coincidence was both inadvertent and serindipidous. I like the idea that the darkness ends. I like the idea that there is hope on the horizon. I like the idea that the dark night of the soul ends in the dawning of something new.