We’re now almost at the end of September and have passed the autumn equinox when we have an equal amount of daytime and night time hours before the shortening daylight hours bring us to the slippery slope towards winter in England.
I’ve just started daily sessions with my special SAD lamp to try and combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
For me, the lamp is a reasonably effective therapy and also gives me half an hour daily when I’m free from interruptions.
It’s an good opportunity to read my daily scripture passage from Day by Day with God published by The Bible Reading Fellowship and listen to and reflect on the daily content from Pray as You Go (https://pray-as-you-go.org/), the latter being especially important for centering me.
Today, 29th September, is also a Quarter Day, a traditional division of the British calendar associated at one time with the hiring of servants, the beginning of new school terms and the time when rents were to be settled. Indeed, some rentals are still calculated to and payable on quarter days.
At their inception, at least as far back as the Middle Ages, it was when debts and unresolved lawsuits were settled and publicly recorded as such before the next quarter began.
The significance of quarter days is now limited, although rents for properties in England may still fall due on the old English quarter days and the names are sometimes used in connection with academic terms starting in the relevant months, especially at some of the older universities.
Today’s quarter day is called Michaelmas, the feast day of St. Michael and all Angels; St. Michael who defeats the dragon in Revelation 12: 7-9.
I find it so comforting that, while there are battles between light and darkness in so many areas of our human life and world and while I’m about to start on my own annual mental battle resulting from shortened days and lengthened nights, the final battle has already been won.
So, I’m entering the final quarter of this year with hope and a sense of light that comes not from my SAD lamp but from God’s love around and before me, lighting the way and leading me through the season’s shadows.
I pray that light will lead you too.