only light can do that.

January 18, 2016 - Daily Notes

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.


I've been sleeping in since November. It is winter and in this northern latitude morning light does not come through my window until the hour hand is on the eight; most days my feet do not touch the floor until it does. "This is my secret," I tell myself. "My hidden fountain of youth, my private reserve for creativity."

It's also when I dream. Sometimes I wake up at seven a.m. and blink for a moment in the darkness. "One more hour," I whisper to the sky outside my window and go back to sleep so dreams can come. 

Telling people about my slumbrous winter habit feels strange. I do not even mention what time I rise in December. I let summer speak for me, those days when my eyes flutter open at six a.m. and do not close again until midnight--a routine which feels more accepted by our culture of busy. People understand busy. I wish we could understand still. 

Today, our country commemorates the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., a revolutionary peace-seeker who had a beautiful dream that one day our nation would rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I thought about him as I watched the light pour through my window this morning and as I walked to the shop to buy coffee. How he gave us clues as to how we can actually fulfill this dream, he told us what we each can do in our own way. How even I can make a, little old me. By shining light. You can, too. 

Light is a warm smile for a stranger. 
Light is self-forgiveness.
Light is an open mind.
Light is patience with a difficult person.
Light is remembering to breathe.
Light is stillness and listening for heart.
Light is gratitude.
Light is giving your full attention to someone when they speak.

{...and if you need to sleep in until eight a.m. during the winter months to recharge your inner light too, then hey, I fully support that!}