Each day during this dark time of the year, I rise long before dawn and light a single candle before I do anything else. As I light it, I plea for a day that is laced with kindness. I plea for love and patience, for understanding, for meaning, for spiritual guidance, for peace, for thoughtfulness, and for tenderness. I sit with myself and as I watch the candle flame dance. I listen to the predawn traffic on the road down below this little mountain where I nest. I think of the lives of each driver of each car, and I send them kind energy and in my small way, I bless their day and they bless mine.