Walking in the Dark…
“As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.” —Rumi
At this time of year, I adjust my schedule as much as I can to avoid walking in the dark. This morning there was just enough of dawn’s sweet light as I set out.
Still cautious as I caught up to a young boy walking to a school bus stop, I crossed the street, not wanting him to be scared by an adult rapidly approaching.
We all adapt to the dark in ways to help us and others walk through the scary parts. Sometimes we joyfully embrace the dark for the incredible beauty it can reveal in nature and in our soul: “To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight, and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings.” – Wendell Berry.
Other times life thrusts us into a time of darkness so intense we wonder if we’ll ever find a path out. Whatever is unfolding for you or your loved ones right now, how might you best balance embracing the dark and seeking the path out of it to take care of yourself and others?
As the night gets longer here in the northern hemisphere, holiday traditions do their best to make scaring you fun, seeing lights at night a joy, and gathering around a fire a blessing. While embracing all of it, how can you consciously engage with growing darkness? And how will you listen for the guidance to walk on (with the support of loved ones) when it is time to return to the light?
May you feel the presence of Light within and around you whenever you walk in the dark.
Bloom in the Dark
“There is an entire class of flowers that only bloom at night… And there are things in our spiritual lives, too, that only bloom in the dark. I’m afraid of the dark, but increasingly I’m more afraid of missing the kind of beauty and growth that can only be found there.”
―Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night
The Unseen Path
“When we can no longer see the path we are on, when we can no longer read the maps we have brought with us or sense anything in the dark that might tell us where we are, then and only then are we vulnerable to God’s protection. This remains true even when we cannot discern God’s presence. The only thing the dark night requires of us is to remain conscious. If we can stay with the moment in which God seems most absent, the night will do the rest.” ― Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark
I write this poem
out of darkness
who are also in darkness
because our lives demand it.
This poem is a hand on your shoulder
a bone touch to go with you
through the hard birth of vision.
In other words, love
shapes this poem
is the fist that holds the chisel,
muscle that drags marble
and burns with the weight
of believing a face
lives in the stone
a breathing word in the body.
I tell you
though the darkness
has been ours
words will give us
give us our eyes, opened in promise
a growing light.
—George Ella Lyon, Back to the Light: Poems