I spent nearly ten years as a stay-at-home mother, and one practice continues to nourish my soul. When the boys were small, and the summer sunshine long, I created “Nighttime Lights.” All the curtains in the house would close, all the lights would get turned down, and I would create an artificial twilight to send my little ones off to their early dreamland. It served us well, and provided one of the many structural point to the long days spent tending little ones.
Now that they are older, and ruled more by the clock and less by the sun, we still have a form of “Nighttime Lights” that rules our evenings. In the winter months it comes earlier, prompted by the sun’s early retreat from the sky and the hastening dark and chill. I find solace and peace in closing each curtain, spreading the thick thermal against the cold. As the eyes of my windows close, I bid rest to the things outside, the demands of all that lie beyond my borders. The house seems to warm as the light and heat are reflected inward, rather than out. My borders are closed, circling in on those who are mine.
Once the ritual is done, the house settles into a warm stillness, winding from the flurry of the day to the measured pace towards sleep. Shoulders settle, breathing slows, and we rest.
May you find your rest amongst your people in this turning-in time.