Text: Ellen Wild
And so, the ground cracked open and fire from beneath came bursting out. Like a call from mother earth. We are celebrating the return of the light and the world is on fire.
This time of the year always has me in a knot. Specially the years I'm travelling south to the densest populated place in Europe. A trip full of increasing contrast from the arrival at the port of the northernmost tip of Denmark, south through Germany and finally into the heart of the buzzing continent.
Every time it makes me realise how lucky we are to live in the north and its vast unspoiled stretches of virgin nature.
Fresh air and water.
Space to explore and a sense of freedom.
But the world is on fire.
The closer I get to the centre of Europe, the more I start to see the tell-tales of all the same things we do up north. But multiplied by a ten-thousand. Not a few trucks full of stuff we actually don't need, but a whole highway full of them. Passing alongside ships full of containers.
Driving through a maze of houses. More trash-bags outside then people living inside, waiting to be collected. And around the corner comes the mailman with as many new packages. The pressure is rising.
It's only when you see your actions multiplied by 10 million people that you understand the impact of it. Does that make it justifiable what we do as a single small person? We point the finger to other parts of the world, while buying containers full of things coming from exactly those places. Flames under the surface.
All of this doesn't really sound like I’m spreading much of a Christmas spirit. But during those darkest days, it’s difficult not to see the darkest side. It’s difficult not to honour that darkness. That what we try to hide behind all those lights and sparkles. We can only celebrate the light by seeing that it is night. And the world is burning.
Christmas is all about being together, cosiness and having a good time. Still, in the joy of giving and receiving, we forget who pays for that joy. Over the last 1000 years we have shifted the focus from the winter solstice to this Christian holiday. We have to be really careful about what we are covering up with “just having a cosy time”. We have to be really careful about forgetting what it is all about, what is really important.
All we really want is being together. Being loved, supported and cared for.
All we want is not to be alone amidst those flames bursting from the earth.
So let us lit the fires. Let us remember that we are one. All and everything on this planet. Let us remember what really matters. It is not the presents, nor is it the horrendous amount of food. It’s not even those traditions that are much younger than we think they are.
We might live in a winter wonder land, all that we do has an impact on the other end of the world. Even though we feel very small looking up to the stars shining above the mountains.
That is what midwinter is about. To see the darkness; and in the mirror of the world, to lit the fires of hope, of intention, of change. So, in the face of all this darkness, I wish everyone of you, of us, a powerful return to the light. May we see that what really matters and light a candle for our world.