On these darkest days of the year, our primitive instincts of fear of the dark may be what drive the broad display of lights of all kinds from colorful Christmas ornamental displays to the candles of Hanukkah. Perhaps our ancestors, observing the shortening days, brought rituals of light to help prevent overwhelming darkness, bring back a spring-time, and the return of the sun.

Recently, the funeral observances of George H.W. Bush brought back awareness of one of his signature phrases. In his nomination speech speaking about volunteer organizations in our country, he called them “a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”

Dr. Victor S. Sierpina is the WD and Laura Nell Nicholson Family Professor of Integrative Medicine and Professor of Family Medicine at UTMB.

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