'The darkest hour is just before dawn ", as the adage goes. The collective "we", in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, feel as though we may not see the light for many months to come. The emotional and physical gutting of our homes is mostly complete. That was the darkest hour. Rebuilding is the next phase. It is a project for all and more daunting for some than others. The Light shines through the studs in the bare walls of every home in Rockaway. The Light comes onto the faces of neighbors as we greet those returning to their homes for the holidays. The Light twinkles in our eyes as we laugh together and shop at the Red Cross tent and recall days gone by when we would have shuddered at the idea. The notion of "stuff" , more stuff to give this year is somehow distasteful to me. I witnessed all the "stuff' that we had stored and hoarded in our basements piled high on our streets. Soggy, moldy remnants of our past. How much of that did we really need? How often did we use any of that which we felt was too precious to dispose of? I am wont to accumulate more of what I will end up storing. In fact, if it needs to be stored, I do not buy it. The Light, for me, will be in Lightening up. Lightening my load. Lightening my step. Lightening my attitude. Lightening the burden of someone else. Lightening the path forward. And forward I will go. The Light comes to those who see it. It is always shining brightly for all to see. It simply depends on whether or not you are looking for it. Tomorrow, the Winter Solstice, will be the shortest day and the longest night of the year. We celebrate the fact that the darkest hour is just before dawn. From that day forward, the Light comes. it promises to get stronger and warmer along the way. This we know for sure. The Light comes.