And so, soon, the return of the light.

Which, this year, fills me with gratitude and compassion.

Gratitude because I have only recently emerged from the deep, near all-consuming darkness I entered in 2021.

Compassion because I know that, while many are like me and truly embodying the coming season of light, others are still in darkness. Where the light cannot yet get in.

And I do mean “yet.”

Because here is what I have learned about the darkness.

You will discover things there. In the dark.

You will discover that you have angels watching over you that you did not know you had.

You will discover that there are paths beckoning you that you did not know were there.

And you will discover that you have a strength.

A boundless, heart-centered strength.

That is moving you forward.

Even in times of despair.

Why am I telling you this? Because, if you are embodying the spirit of the season, I hope these words will be a reminder to truly pause and celebrate the light all around you.

The light within you.

And to remember what it takes to get here.

To the light.

And.

If the light feels impossibly far away for you right now, I hope these words will feel like an outstretched hand.

That you can hold onto.

Til the angels arrive, the path is a bit clearer.

Til you are a little stronger.

Because, in the end, that is (for me) the true story of the return of the light: That darkness always will end. Light always will begin. And then it will end. And darkness will begin.

Again.

That is the cycle of life. The way of the world.

And the best way to get through it.

Is to reach out our hands.

And help each other.

Forward.

Happy solstice!

The Practice of Being Alive is a collection of stories about getting through this thing called life.