Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thoughts of the Dark: Thursday's Reflection

We are back to morning darkness. This is my view as I looked out the back window from my garret at 6:00 a.m. this morning. Thanks to the start of daylight savings time. I know each day we will see daylight arrive earlier as we head into spring, but it is hard to move back into the dark. 

Life is like that, of course. Sometimes we are in the light. And sometimes we are in the dark. What we know for sure is that the movement between the dark and the light will always continue. Our job goes beyond survival. Our task is to find the grace in both. 

Fortunately, there is help. As you know, dear readers, Joan Chittister is one of my favorite guides. One of her most recent books, Between the Dark and the Daylight, Embracing the Contradictions of Life is the perfect companion as I explore the dimensions of light and dark. 

A few words to guide us: 

        The light we gain in darkness is the awareness that, 
        however bleak the place of darkness was for us, we 
        did not die there. We know now that life begins 
        again on the other side of the darkness. Another life.
        A new life. After the death, the loss, the rejection, the
        failure, life does go on. Differently, but on. Having
        been sunk into the cold night of black despair--and
        having survived it--we rise to new light, calm and clear
        and confident that what will be, will be enough for us.
        Growth is the boundary between the darkness of 
        unknowing and the light of new wisdom, new
        insight, new vision of who and what we ourselves have
        become. After darkness we are never the same again.
        We are only stronger, simpler, surer than ever before
        that there is nothing in life we cannot survive, because
        though life is bigger than we are, we are meant to grow
        to our fullest dimensions in it. page 20

I have known the dark. I have known long stretches of light. I realize now in my later years how much of life is a mix of light and dark. Rarely has the dark been so dark I have not been able to see anything. I also know in the brightest of light times, there are pockets of shadow. I know times of darkness will come again. Therefore, now is the time to brighten the light within me. 

An Invitation
What have the times of darkness taught you? What light do you bring into the dark with you. I would love to know. 

Other Resources
Learning to Walk in the Dark Barbara Brown Taylor
The Dark Night of the Soul, A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth. Gerald G. May, M.D.
Dark Nights of the Soul, A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life's Ordeals. Thomas Moore

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