December 2021 Newsletter
Hello, and a delicious December to you!
Let the light in!
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue is about letting in the light around you.
This time of year in the Northern hemisphere the sun rises late and sets early, and never gets that high
in the sky even in midday. This can be depressing and lead to feelings of lethargy. Light boxes are often
recommended to help people's attitude, unless you can get outside often during the day to take in the natural light.
It might just be a mental game I play, but I frequently remind myself about the sun's angle, as I was taught in elementary school.
Although the sun is out for a shorter part of the day, the sun is tilted toward us now, when it's tilted away in summer.
I tell myself that this is why it seems so glaringly bright, with the sun shining directly into my kitchen window, never rising above
it. This thought reassures me that there is indeed enough light in this darkest season, and there will be plenty of light to
see what I need to see.
When my vision was poorer, I equated "too dark to see well" with pitch black, like the inside of a closet when the door was closed.
So whenever it started to get dim in late afternoon, I would become anxious, envisioning that totality of deep black impenetrable
darkness approaching. This made me nervous, fearful of going anywhere. As I've improved my vision, I've found that just a little light is often
enough to see what's necessary.
Being outdoors, in any weather, lifts my spirits and ups my energy, so I like to go for a walk a few times a day. It gets me away from
the computer, lets my visual system enjoy seeing clouds and trees (bare branches, or evergreens, now) instead of a screen, and always brings
me back home with a better attitude. Since it gets dark here shortly after 4PM in this season, if I don't walk after dark I'll hardly walk at all.
When I started doing that occasionally, I was surprised how well I could see after night fell, if I took my time.
Over 10 years ago, when I was still wearing strong contacts, with weak glasses over those for additional help when driving at night, I joined a
group of dreamers who met once a month in a nearby state, about an hour away from my home. The long drive after dark was stressful
for me, yet I was determined to get more comfortable about it, even though I was not too relaxed back then whether I was driving or not. One night coming home,
when it had started raining, I expected the visibility to be even worse, and was pleasantly surprised how the raindrops seemed to reflect whatever light there was.
My visual system was learning there is always enough light to see, if I just relax and receive it.
At another weekend dream gathering in the Adirondacks, after getting back to my room following our evening session, I realized I had left my water bottle behind.
I told my roommate I wanted to retrieve it, which meant walking alone through the woods on an unlit path in the dark. She was shocked, so I joked that I couldn't see all that well
even in the daylight, to lessen her worry. (I have since stopped disparaging my vision like this.) I enjoyed this little adventure, one more piece of evidence
that I can count on my eyes. When it's sunny, I open a window or go outdoors to let it fall on my closed eyelids. When it's dark I examine the details in an easy
curious way. I appreciate all I can see, whatever the level of light.
For an article about seeing better in dim light,
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Enjoy the start of this delightful month of December.
I'll write again in a few weeks. Take care!