Darkness terrified me. As a child it was all that was wrong. You couldn't see and in the midst of that unseen world were monsters. Real or imagined, it didn't matter. A child's mind has trouble differentiating between the two. I avoided it, hid under the covers and ran from it.
Now, I can handle physical darkness. I can find my way through the shadows without so much as bumping my shin. I don't mind the night, there are times when it is welcome.
It's the other darkness that worries and overwhelms me. The kind that comes from within.
This year has been one of joy and discovery. I've made new friends and learned so much. Yet, amid the happiness and good things, there was also some blackness. It slinked in without me knowing and suddenly I was enveloped in the gloom. My blood ran like ink, making my heart heavy and slow. My hands hung down, useless and empty. The murkiness sucked at my feet, making each step a chore. I felt helpless.
When you're in the darkness, you have only two choices--wallow, or move forward. I pushed against the darkness and chose to move. As difficult as the motion was, I kept at it. The night could not go on forever.
This morning was the winter Solstice. I've never given the day much thought before. But, a couple weeks ago, Tara, at Faith in Ambiguity, wrote about celebrating the Solstice. She shared such beautiful insight about the morning that follows the longest night-
"To me, Solstice is the essence of the true religion of December. We meet the dark, it seems to encompass everything and then, in that nadir of blackness, new promise is reborn. This physical fact seems to me to hold the key to understanding our lives. It may be black as ink now. Yes, it is darkest, but wait just a minute and see...Wait one more minute and you will see."
Wait one more minute and you will see. Those were the words my tired soul needed. The image thrust hope into my mind and heart. The light had been streaming slowly, steadily back into my life and, now, I knew I need only embrace it.
As I watched, I pondered the light and the symbolism it held. Today, I waited for the sun, but what I'd already experienced was the light of the Son. He had been there for me during my darkest hours. I knew He was near and that, when no one else could, He understood. When I stood in the shroud of darkness, I felt Him next to me, pointing to the horizon. "You see, it's there. Just a glimpse right now, but the sun is rising and the light is on its way."
As the rays broke over the mountain, my heart thrilled at the sight. How many sunrises have I lived through? Never noticing, never giving it a glance. But this one was different. Today, the aurora mirrored my life. I could feel my soul reflecting the brilliance. This was more than a sunrise, more than a new day. This was my new beginning, full of promise and hope.