Messages of encouragement from the District Administrator: The power of light

The coronavirus is omnipresent at the moment - and dominates every area of life almost every day. In order to encourage the people of Waldeck-Frankenberg in these difficult times, District Administrator Dr. Reinhard Kubat is launching a series of articles entitled "Lichtblicke" (rays of hope) with a total of four messages to encourage people. The first part is about the power of light.

Dear fellow citizens,

Many a glance out of the window these days evokes little enthusiasm. Often the eyes are met by a gloomy sky, a dense blanket of clouds, billowing fog that envelops everything with a dull dampness. It is still too early in the year for the days to be long enough to overlook these unedifying aspects of winter. Add to that the pandemic, which is far from defeated and puts another damper on the rather dark season. So it seems no wonder that a rather melancholy mood is taking hold of us humans.

I would like to make it clear to you that there is no reason to permanently hang your head with a few thoughts about the unfortunately all too often hidden beauties of life. I invite you to join me on this mental journey in three sections. In keeping with the first turn of the month this year, I begin my "rays of hope" with the eponym of my thought journey, light.

Does the term "Candlemas" mean anything to you? Or if you can relate to this celebration on 2 February, or at least have heard of "Candlemas", did you also know that in earlier times it was the end of the Christmas season? Only a few families or towns and communities still adhere to this beautiful old custom, which is actually regrettable. For the "Candlemas" with its blessing of candles and its processions of lights by children has always been associated with a clear brightening of spirits among the population. The first inkling of spring appears, as it is also announced in the old farmer's rule: "When it storms and snows at Candlemas, spring is not far away".

Springtime anticipation, springtime hope in the middle of winter, that may seem a little strange to some people. But let us not forget, dear fellow citizens, that it is even a scientifically proven fact: the days will become significantly longer from 1 February. Whereas at the winter solstice on 22 December it was only a "gnat's step" or around New Year's Eve the duration of a cockcrow, which the bright day had wrested from the darkness of the night, on Candlemas the sun rises a whole hour earlier than it did a good five weeks ago. We can enjoy the light for a whole 60 minutes longer, rejoice in its bright radiance and take in its healing effect on mind, body and soul.

Who of us does not start smiling when suddenly the sun breaks through the clouds, spreads its golden glow and, as a fountain of light from the sky, lends its warm radiance to the day? Who does not feel comforted, encouraged, filled with new strength or confident by candlelight, open fires, St. Martin's lanterns, but of course also the good old light bulbs or LED lights with their so different and yet unanimously illuminating light? Light showers or light therapies, light crystals or daylight lamps... the power of light is omnipresent and was recognised by our ancestors ages ago. They knew it long before scientific findings and evidence: without light, there is no life.

Dear fellow citizens, this insight runs through all religions - festivals of light are celebrated everywhere. Be it in Christianity with St. Martin's Day, St. Lucia's Day, Christmas or the Candlemas from which my thoughts started. Be it in Judaism with Hanukkah, with the Mevlid Kandili among Muslims, in Hinduism the Divali festival or among Buddhists the Pawarana. Light is always at the centre of attention, it is brought into focus as the bringer of life and salvation, it unfolds its power in the centuries-old rites time and again.

Who doesn't automatically know that the light bulb above the heads of comic characters means an illuminating thought, a sparkling idea? Every one of us likes to be put in the right light, to be pleased when someone sheds light on a question or makes sure that a light comes on for us. We long to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as currently symbolised by the vaccinations to contain the pandemic.

Let this light into your life, let it brighten your mind and soul, draw deeply from its life-giving power. Let us also hope, slightly tongue-in-cheek, that 2 February will indeed be stormy and snowy, so that soon afterwards we will welcome the first messengers of spring. And continue to take good care of yourself so that you can really enjoy this soon to arrive spring.

Dr Reinhard Kubat
District Administrator