Dark or light?
In the northern hemisphere, we are heading into longer darkness.
I keep one of the light machines on my desk for this time of year. I am more of a light gal than one who likes darkness. Give me sunshine, please, not gloomy days which darken my moods.
Yet my small group is reading and really enjoying Barbara Brown Taylor’s book Learning to Walk in the Dark. Her words are showing me new ideas, lessons, and possibilities to darkness. Her writing draws me in and creates a hunger for me for the calm of darkness and the courage to face and explore it more deeply.
“When, despite all my best efforts, the lights have gone off in my life (literally or figuratively, take your pick), plunging me into the kind of darkness that turns my knees to water, nonetheless I have not died. The monsters have not dragged me out of bed and taken me back to their lair. The witches have not turned me into a bat. Instead, I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.”
Then I listened to Emily P Freeman’s wonderful podcast, The Next Right Thing, a few weeks ago and she too mentioned this book. Emily summed her experience with darkness this way:
“The gift of the darkness is not necessarily that everything works out alright, more it’s that when we learn to walk through the darkness and survive it, well, we survive it…I realize there’s a skill to walking in the dark: you have to go slow, trust what you know, and take it one step at a time.”
I find myself at a crossroad right now. I am praying for discernment for where to head as we get closer to a new year. The season’s darkness descends upon me and at first, I thought hinders my view.
With the words from these two wise women, I am learning.
One step at a time.
What has the dark teach you?