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Living in a northern climate means living with some very long nights. Many people here spend part of the winter season going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. It can feel like a burden and a hardship, and in popular culture is certainly treated as such. Our culture worships the sun. This is understandable; the sun brings light, warmth, love and all life on earth. It is a powerful force and brings so much into our lives.

Over the years, I have begun to appreciate the dark side a little more -- especially the moonlight. It's hard to imagine how different life was before electric light changed the nature of time. Before electricity, the waxing and waning moon would have been a much stronger feature of everyday life. Now, we forget to even look up at night as we move from one lit building to the next. Paying attention to the moon and its cycles is an easy way to connect to the natural world. Basking in moonlight is very different than lying in the sun, but it brings important qualities into our awareness. Just as the summer sun beams the bounty and joy of the season into our being, so the winter moon invites us to tune into the blessings of the long night; a quiet heart, reassurance and perseverance.

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