The Dark and the Light

Since I was first introduced to a Native American worldview as a child learning about my Cherokee heritage, the idea of being in balance with nature completely resonated with me. Over the years I continued to be drawn to other philosophies and religions that look to nature for wisdom such as Transcendentalism and Taoism. When I found the book, “Seasons of Change: Using Nature’s Wisdom to Grow Through Life’s Inevitable Ups and Downs,” I loved the author’s use of the seasons as a way to see our emotional life as a natural process. It helped me to see that the grief we experience in life as being as natural as the joy and to learn to move through all the natural cycles of our lives rather than trying to avoid the darker ones. As a natural turning point in the earth’s seasons, the winter solstice is an opportunity to recognize the dark, sad parts of our emotional lives while celebrating and trusting in the return of the light and the joy in our lives. As the darkness falls bringing the longest night of the year, I’m lighting my chalice in honor of the sense of renewal and hope that fills my heart.

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  1. A beautifully written blog and book that sounds excellent and worth reading.

    Renewal and hope–we know that on the darkest of days, the sun returns to us several minutes more of light each passing day.

    I am 1/8 Canadian Chippewa through my great-grandmother whom I resemble very strongly so I can empathize with your Native American heritage.

  2. Thanks! That book is one I like to keep for reference.

    I think you may know as much as I do about how much Native heritage I have 🙂 I was surprised to find out that my Dad finally found a link to the Cherokee rolls after all these years – William C. Woods, I believe. Hopefully, I can get him to show me next visit.

  3. Your dad and I figured 1/4 to 3/8 Native American heritage for him. Just a guess though.

    I am 1/8 Canadian Chippewa and have copies of the nineteenth century enrollment rolls to prove it. Since you are a spiritual seeker, I will tell you the story of this revelation after Christmas holidays. Your dad knows about it.

    One can have DNA testing done to determine one’s heritage, but not the percentage. It is getting more affordable, down around $150 now for a 25-marker test.

  4. That’s awesome that you have the records and I’d love to hear the story!

    Funny that you mention it, a friend of ours and her brother just had that testing done. She had somewhat of a frustrating experience though. I forget the details, but that was the first time I had heard of the test.

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