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Ready To Bring Back The Light

December in the Northern Hemisphere brings long hours of darkness and, lately, days full of fog. I sense that the grayness is a manifestation of the grim news of violence, near and far.

On a recent foggy day I went to see Spike Lee’s new film, Chi-Raq. Even with just a few people in the audience of this weekday screening, I felt a wave of fear about being vulnerable to some horrible act of aggression. And that was before the movie started and showed, even through its satire and hyperbole, a situation out of control that’s close to home.

But while the setting may be Chicago, the portrayal of easy access to firearms and the intertwined politics and profiteering are regrettably universal.

I don’t know if it was the movie or the long, dark days, but my dreams the night after I saw Chi-Raq were disturbed -- full of complex relationships, intrigue, and an upside-down palm tree. I definitely think that tropical image was related to my craving for more sun.

On Monday, December 21 at 10:48 p.m. Central Time, we reach Winter Solstice -- the longest night of the year. Historically, this time of year brings associated celebrations, rituals and customs that span cultures and beliefs. Many include lights – candles on a menorah, bonfires, elaborate displays of white or colorful bulbs strung outside and around our homes.

Once we’ve passed the solstice, light will begin to overtake the darkness. I know I’m ready for that.

I’m Paula Garrett, and that’s my perspective.

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