The coronavirus is omnipresent at the moment - and dominates almost every area of life on a daily basis. 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. The eyes are often met by a gloomy sky, a dense blanket of clouds, billowing fog that envelops everything in 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 to be no wonder that a rather melancholy mood is taking hold of us humans.
I would like to make clear to you that there is no reason to hang your head permanently with a few thoughts about the unfortunately all too often hidden beauties of life. I invite you to go on this mental journey with me in three sections. Fittingly for 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 do something with this celebration on February 2, "Lichtmess" so at least have heard, did you also know that only with it in earlier times the Christmas season ended? Only a few families or cities and communities still hold on to this beautiful old custom, which is actually unfortunate. Because by the "Lichtmess" with its candle blessing and its light processions of the children always also a clear mood brightening in the population was connected. The first inkling of spring appears, as it is also announced in the old farmer's rule: "If it storms and snows at Candlemas, spring is not far away".
Springtime anticipation, springtime hope in the middle of winter, that may seem a bit strange to one or the other. But let's not forget, dear fellow citizens, that it is even a scientifically proven fact: the days will become significantly longer from February 1. Whereas at the winter solstice on December 22 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 just over five weeks ago. We can enjoy the light for a whole 60 minutes longer, delight in its bright radiance and absorb 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 gives the day its warm radiance? 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 recognized by our ancestors ages ago. They knew it long before scientific knowledge and evidence: without light, no life.
This insight, dear fellow citizens, runs through all religions - festivals of light are celebrated everywhere. Be it in Christianity with Saint 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 the Muslims, in Hinduism the Divali festival or among the Buddhists the Pawarana. Light is always at the center 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 cartoon characters means an illuminating thought, a sparkling idea? After all, each of us would like to be put in the right light, to be pleased when someone brings light into the darkness of 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 symbolized by the vaccinations to contain the pandemic.
Let this light into their lives, let it illuminate mind and soul, draw deeply from its life-giving power. Let's also hope, slightly tongue-in-cheek, that February 2 will indeed be stormy and snowy, so that soon thereafter we will welcome the first messengers of spring. And continue to take good care of yourself to properly enjoy this soon to arrive spring.
Dr. Reinhard Kubat