One of us lives on the east coast. One of us lives on the west.

One of us lives in a rural community. One of us lives in a city.

Both of us wander. Both of us witness. Both of us write.

This is a record of what we find.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Finding Light on the Second Shortest Day of the Year

Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year. Here in Vermont, the sun will rise at 7:23AM and set at 4:14PM. The light of the day will last for 8 hours and 51 minutes. I had planned on writing about the sunrise today. About watching the sun peek over the tree line that spans the sky east of the river trail, about how running on the trail at that time of day makes me feel a little powerful, like I am part of the process of tugging the sun up out of night and into day.

Last Friday surpassed the winter solstice, though. It fell dark even before noon. And I don't feel all that powerful anymore. In fact I feel somewhat helpless, and a lot vulnerable. Many of us do. So I am going to lift an idea from my friend, Jeannie Mobley, who writes at Emu's Debuts. Monday was her turn to post over there, and she focused on the people---the flames of light---in her community who have overcome the darkness. Small speck of light by small speck of light, they add up to a whole lot, she says. Perhaps everything. I agree with Jeannie.

Sunrise in the woods
So I want to share images of sunrises in many different landscapes and stories about the people who, this year alone, tugged on up a light for me just as powerful as the sun. And I would love to hear from you all about the people in your life who are the same kind of mighty powerful.

This is only a handful of images and, more importantly, only a handful of people. There are so so many.

Beth Kephart, who lit a path of connection with her lyrical novel, Small Damages. Her love of landscape, as well as her advice and support, have meant so much to me.
Sunrise over the river

My Running with Foxes/Running with Atalanta crew---Kara, Alice, Hannah and Stefani (and Winn-Dixie, Cody, Willow, Henry and Lucas)---who light the way along the trail every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The rhythm of my life would not be the same without you.

Sunrise over the desert
Jeanne, Portia, Marie, Rebecca and Dan, who light my little trio's educational and emotional pathways, each a little different (more treacherous here, more smooth there) from the other.

Sharry (oh luminous blog-mate), Sarah and Cindy, who light the way to my stories when, like a car in the fog, I can't even see a few feet in front of me.

Sunrise over the fields
Luke Reynolds, Soul-Wait-Mate of mine, who lit a path to breaking the rules.

Lisa, who lights a path between my house and hers, a path lined with just the exact right ingredient---for a bread or a cake, for a celebration or a heartache.

Sunrise over the ocean

Davina Morgan-Witts, who lit a path for me of work that I love. Which is an understatement. And Poornima Apte, who walks with me there. Whom I love. Which is also an understatement.

Diane, who lights a path between heart and head and body.

And of course, Jeannie Mobley herself, who lit a path for me today with regards to this post, and who is my light of inspiration on my path to publication.

Who lights up your life?

Let us all shine on. Despite the dark, or maybe because of it.

With gratitude,



  1. What a lovely post! Thank you for sharing! So many people bring light to my life - I'm going to give this further contemplation today. May today shine bright for you! :)

  2. I'm assuming your brother Dan (me) was left off this light list because I was too obvious and it didn't need to be written, haha!

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    1. May today shine bright for you Debbi! And dan, did'ja notice that not one of my family members is in that list? But you all are the shiniest in my life! xxoo