It’s dark and strangely quiet when I wake up, tiptoe to the kitchen, and look out the window while I wait for the water to boil. It’s 7:30; not even that early. But everything about the world still seems dream-like and faraway like maybe nothing is real.
The water finishes boiling; I make coffee and toast some bread before going back to my room to wrap myself up in a blanket. It’s dark in my room too but I like it that way. I don’t want to open my shutters yet or turn on the blaring overhead light. It would be too much, too soon. Light, like a lot of things in life, has a tendency to be aggressive unless it shines in moderation.
Instead, I turn on my fairy lights and light a candle. It’s funny how the light of a single flame can change everything. Chaos becomes calm; cold becomes warmth; barren becomes cozy; despair becomes hope.
In the past two years, where there has been so much darkness on every continent, I think many of us have taken it upon ourselves to create our own light. Maybe some of us didn’t have a choice. Maybe some of us just wanted to make the world a little brighter. Maybe, when we decided to light that candle, we didn’t even know what we were yearning for until a flame sparked every hollow feeling into existence.
A lot of us try to wish the winter away because it’s dark and because it’s cold. We dwell in the little light that is left to us, getting swallowed up so quickly by a torrent of black water by the early afternoon There is no time to live; there is no time to do anything but exist. But I think what we often forget is that within each of us lies the power to create our own light. The light we create in our tiny, dark corners, in our cold and depressing shadows, is maybe nothing more than a moment’s joy or a flicker of warmth but it is light and it is hope, no matter how artificial or contrived.