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A Glimmer of Light

Being one day closer to our darkest night of the year reminds me of a summer’s night in 1999...

It wasn’t the darkness of Winter Solstice that had me groping, stumbling, and feeling powerless to move forward, but the darkness of no moon, in an unknown woods, guiding eight little campers back to our cabin.


I was a camp counselor at a fabulous camp in northern Illinois. It was the first week of camp, and I was ready to demonstrate my 19-year old maturity, as I mothered my cabin of 8-year olds.

Though I was familiar with the campgrounds, our first evening campfire was at a location I had never been to. As we got up to leave, I quickly realized I didn’t have a flashlight. Neither did any of my campers. I knew our general surroundings and the general vicinity of our cabin. I could just make out the path by the light of the dwindling fire. With fluttering courage, I took a deep breath and beckoned my campers onward.

Though our first steps were confident, soon enough, the firelight was no more. My eyes began to play tricks on me as I searched for any scrap of light I could make out. We formed a line, holding hands, with me at the helm. Slowly we made our way, as I focused my eyes on the subtle difference between the lighter edge of the path and the darker foliage of the ground cover beyond the path.


My eyes began to play tricks on me as I searched for

any scrap of light I could make out.


More than once, I got a mouth full of branches and leaves.

More than once, someone yelped at the sound of a critter skittering across the path or an owl hooting.

More than once, I wondered if we would ever make it to our cabin. If we didn't show up to breakfast, I was confident they would send a search party...they would, wouldn't they?

Doubts circled my mind: Who was I to think I could take care of these eight tiny humans? What I am doing in this role of counselor? I clearly don't know anything! I am so freaking scared of the dark, how in the world can I be their leader?

What felt like HOURS later, we spied a glimmer of light from the stoop of our cabin. As if guided by the noonday sun, or the Star of Bethlehem, we gleefully ran towards it.


As if guided by the noonday sun, or the Star of Bethlehem,

we gleefully ran towards it.


We had arrived. Not all at once, but one step at a time.

Because even when the way is long and the difference between darkness and light feels almost imperceptible, even then we instinctively move away from darkness and into light.

And isn't that how it goes in life? {Rhetorical question}

We can visualize where we want to be, what it is that we want to experience...but the space between can feel so vast and impossible to cross.

How will we know where to go, when to go there, what to say once we get there?

We may try to cut out the middleman of the journey by finding as many answers as possible before we go. But no matter how prepared we think we are, nothing compares to actually putting one foot in front of the other and simply trusting that we are always moving towards the light.


The Gift of Winter

This is the gift of perseverance we receive from Winter, and specifically from the longest night of the year. It invites us to loosen the grip of our own lives and future, to relinquish some control. We are invited to trust that the bigger process of life has got us and is always, intuitively guiding us into a greater fullness of life, even if we don't know what the hell we are doing. Those moments are not moments of failure. They are moments of sacred quiet, where the One who breathed life into us is guiding us from the inside out, one step at a time.

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” —Yoko Ono


Rachel Sartori is an Embodiment and Wholeness Coach. She is kick-ass and heart-centered whether she is showing up as a workshop/retreat facilitator, a private coach, a writer or a speaker. Rachel invites you to exercise your soul, and participate in the healing of your own heart and the world around you. With Rachel, all is welcome, all the time.

Read: Exercise Your Soul: Ignite Healing and Wholeness in your Life and Live from the Inside Out

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