***This blog was created in December 17, 2007. Much can happen in 10 years. We all know this. Yet the rhythm of the seasons is a constant that holds us. As we anticipate the Winter Solstice and the returning of the light,we continue to rest in the message that the light does overcome the darkness. Sometimes it may take longer than we hope. As people of faith we continue to light candles and to hold out to the world this nonconformist notion.
“A candle light is a protest at midnight. It is a nonconformist. It says to the darkness: “I beg to differ.” Samuel Rayan
It was not a candle light. It was much bigger than that. It was a bright orange dinner plate sphere that rose on the horizon this morning. After nearly nine hours of darkness, the sun finally rose at 7:46 a.m. I was privileged to be driving toward it this morning as it rose, gloriously, into the pale blue and misty sky. In its rising it shouted to the world: “I beg to differ!”
We are in the last of the darkest days of this year. As we approach the Winter Solstice on December 21st, 12:09 a.m., the Sun will once again start returning us to days with more light. I recognize that the majority of people walk through these days with very little awareness of this movement, of the variance of light and darkness but this year I have been particularly watchful. Seeing the growing darkness has informed my experience of Advent, of the waiting, the watching, the anticipation, the hope of new life to come.
I have tried very intentionally to not see the darkness as a negative but as an integral part of the process of birth. Dreams, after all, take place in darkness. Babies are nurtured in the darkness of a womb. Bulbs and seeds are growing in the darkness of the cold soil….even when we cannot see. Many animals are sleeping in the darkness of caves and warm earthy holes, growing even as they rest. Creativity itself often seems to take root and grow out of the darkness of confusion and challenge. Most of us have found spiritual transformation out of what we might refer to as a dark night of the soul.
So these dark days, I believe, are not to be feared or dreaded. Instead they are meant to be opportunities for staying awake and aware to what the darkness has to teach us, to offer us. When we do we may find ourselves staring with awe at that morning platter of rich, fire red and orange…..the Sun that offers us a glimpse of what is yet to be…….another amazing day to walk the Earth with both darkness and light as our backdrop. This Sun which feeds the fields of food we eat and the trees that bring us oxygen also has its work to do…life giving work, nonconformist work. Though we need the darkness for gestation, we need the light for life.
For the next few days, darkness will continue to grow. But in just a few days, the Sun will have its say:”I beg to differ!”
“Darkness cover me like a blanket of night, oh, cover me lightly. Hidden seed, deep in the dark soil of the earth, fertile ground, womb of the night, bring us new birth.” Sara Thomsen