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  • Writer's pictureeschaden


I spent the solstice last night pondering the longest night of the very many long nights I have spent in my life. I have had way more than fifty-two, that is for sure.

But since entering recovery, it has been an upward trend, a moving towards the darkness and not fearing it so much anymore. I am darkness and I am also light. I have begun to think about life as this day cycle, the light bringing in and the darkness requiring a letting go.

I like thinking of life on a daily cycle, keeps me present and things feeling more manageable. So last night as I pondered what to let go and what to bring in, I came up with the following:

Letting Go:

People who do not really like or love me but are tied to me inexplicably

Ideas that I have held about myself that are no longer true

The way I have always eaten

My weird and very rigid ideas about time and schedule

Diet Coke

Bringing In:








A new diet that supports all of the above

Last night was not a long night for me. I was asleep early and I had a good night’s rest. Making me ready for my last day of work before the holidays. I used to dread the darkness of winter and how much it felt like it truncated my life. But I realized last night as I climbed into bed at the wee hour of 7:30, that I kind of like the earlier bedtime. It isn’t sustainable over an entire year but was totally ok last night. I had nothing to do, nothing that needed to be attended to. My child was happy in her room hanging out with friends, the dogs fed and resting, the goats safely tucked in for the night, the cats warming my feet on the bed. It was a quiet night and it was lovely.

I guess that is the biggest change for me this year, is that I no longer dread the darkness and now see that I need it just as much as I need the light. I will no longer complain about darknesses’ early arrival, any more than I complain about the long light of summer. I need both equally. Always have and I likely always will. There are things that night and darkness teach us that are just as valuable as the light’s lessons. I much prefer the light bearing ones but have come to value those dark shadowy forces almost as much. Their arrival in my life a signifier that change is afoot and that is a good thing, despite my feelings to the contrary.

Life will always be a never ending cycle of light and shadow. I am not sure why I ever thought it should or could be otherwise. Light needs the shadow just as much as the shadow needs the light. And I am no different. I need both...and I see that now. It is all a delicate balancing of competing interests, shades of light and solstices. And this year, my soul felt so much more at home than it ever has with the change of seasons, light and everything in between.

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