The Light

La Voz de Galicia – December 17, 2021 →

Cristina PatoOn these days when the fog does not allow any sun well until lunchtime, I tend to celebrate that moment. Suddenly, my kitchen lights up, and then I get up from the table and walk out onto the balcony, and I soak in that natural warmth that gives so much energy. And for a moment, I can turn off the lights to allow the sun’s rays at the end of autumn to illuminate the living room, even if it is for a little bit of the day because here, at my house in Ourense, they soon disappear. And in some way, those thirty minutes of light change my perception of the day.

And then I think about how important light is, how essential it is for life, and how complex is the fact that during these times the sun’s light as well as electric light are rights that not everyone can have. Because among the many news which claim our attention (and that we follow with the impotence provoked by news about things we know we cannot change), is the fact that the price of electricity again beat its own record. And then I imagine the next bill, and I wonder about how many homes there must be that will simply not be able to pay it, and I continue thinking about what that means for society’s well being.

But the days go by, and Christmas is here, precisely through those lights in the streets, and it is only because of this that one is more aware of the ability that light (and lack thereof) has of provoking feelings beyond our own, of providing or depriving us of hope.

But how can we keep our own light alive in the moments where everything is sad and dark? Perhaps nourishing the hope that we are capable of winning the battle against the fog, the way the sun does it each day, illuminating daily our perception of life.

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