capturing light and saying thank you

2 12 2014

The days are getting dark.  Quite literally we have fewer and fewer hours of light every day and this does tend to play a bit with the psyche.

It is also so easy to get caught up in the darkness of the world if I let myself.  If I spend too much time thinking about it the violence, miserable situations and seeming hopelessness seems to edge in further and further.

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But the darkness cannot remain forever. 

And it cannot overcome Light.

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The Light appears and leaves its reflection on everything.  And it is beautiful. 

We have gone running to enjoy the sun when it comes through the clouds.  We have stood in awe of its gleams and the variations it displays from moment to moment.

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And when it shines I go about the hallways,  or run through the snow in pyjamas, like an unashamed groupie, to see if I can capture its next nuance, its  next slight variation.  Each new gleam seems like a fresh masterpiece and an entire new day in itself.

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And when the sun comes out, we stop.  We pull off if we are driving, so that we can capture the particular angles we can see,

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I get the kids to stop classwork, if there are gleams that hit the glass.  Share this with me… it is too good to keep to myself.  Drink in the bliss and the warmth of these moments.

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And as the darkness begins to fall, the lamps begin to shine.  And I know that each moment of the sun greeting for this day, is another moment to relish the beauty and splendour.

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(Most of these images were captured in just one day… just about 6 hours of sunlight can inspire such majesty.  The sun may not burst through the clouds very often, but when it does, it does a splendid job!)


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Long ago we were warned of how dull and difficult November can be in Sweden.  The north is slightly better in that there is more chance for snow, which brings some light.

We have been working through it all and taking one day at a time.  One of the strategies I have been trying to keep for myself is to make November a month of Thanks (this is neither a South African nor Swedish habit.  Thanks to all my American friends for the influence!).  And so I have introduced the idea in our school.  The 4-6 group wrote thanks on leaves which filled up a small tree (in contrast to all the barren trees around us)

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It was lovely to see them using English for a real activity, in public display.  And we have kept all the leaves, pasted into a book, to keep for years to come.

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The 7-9s filled a door with thanks.  There were many thanks for snow, cold weather and ice.  Welcome to life in northern Sweden!  It was great to see people really thinking about gratitude and I pray that some of them will realise how gratitude makes dark days sweeter, and dim situations brighter.

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This weekend has also seen the beginning of Advent. 

Lights have gone up all over town.

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It was special to wander around the village for “Skyltsondag”, when the lights go on.  There was a feeling of drawing to buy, but there were special sights too. Kids being pulled along the streets in toboggans.  Several shops offered glögg and pepparkakor – Christmas essentials (Gluwein-like drink and ginger snaps). 

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I love how darkness is countered with lights in various constellations.  Our local grocery store, on the left, looks bright and jolly.  And no, Santa is not suffering from too much festive cheer.  I loved this display at the fishing and hunting store:  Santa is fishing, pimplar style, through a hole in the ice.  (I will dedicate a blog to fishing in the future. Hold onto the rods…)

We both feel convicted to celebrate the Light this season. 

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John 1:5 – The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

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Please note. All images are copyright of Karen and Deon Scheepers.




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