Written by Bill McElroy
Befriending the Darkness and the Light
As the arch of the sun’s daily trek across the sky
slips lower and lower to the South
following the winged’s migration,
the trees and the leaves come to an agreement
of when it is time to let go…
…and the flesh of the canopy thins
revealing the bones of these tall sentinels.
Indeed each year, this time
is marked by a cadence unseen
and even more, not fully understood.
In the graying of the day sky
and the lengthening of the night’s darkness,
the Earth spins and wobbles
and dips its way into its darkest moments.
This is the time of year then, chosen
to celebrate the Coming of the Light.
The Light that will dispel the darkness,
and chase away that which lurks in shadow.
For long has the uncertainty of that
with which we are unfamiliar
been feared, projected…and even demonized.
Not to dispel the sovereign sojourn back to the Garden,
as the destination marking our Salvation…
…in which compassion, loving kindness and humility
make bedfellows with mercy, forgiveness and peace.
…but we must take note, Lovers of the Light,
lest we forget, the other half of the journey,
often banished to the realm of the devil,
and with “good riddance!” we say.
While the certainty of the garden is attractive and desirable,
this darkened Solstice is our deep teacher as well.
Only in trekking darkened pathways
may the beginning of our Salvation be fully realized.
The light, life and love of God is in it all…
if only we have the eyes to see;
eyes tempered by love and oh yes, by the uncertainty
of conundrum, turmoil and doubt.
In the mystery of the second half of life…
…it is that which is strangely untoward and difficult
that deepens our experience of God.
It is in traversing these darkened pathways
that we are led to the Gate of the Garden
It is in the befriending of both
the Darkness and the Light,
that is our
by Bill McElroy
This time of year, Christ our Light is celebrated. We await in Advent, for the coming of the Divine. Hope reigns with the promise of better times to come. The darkness of a secular world, devoid of the enlightenment of compassion, loving kindness and humility before the Mystery, is now said to transform into a new world…a Kingdom that will unfold when all disparity and enmity, cruelty and greed will whither as so much unnecessary chaff. A time ushered in as God’s Time, the time of goodness and prevailing peace. Emmanuel…God is with us.
Sometimes though, this time of year is difficult for others. Sayings like: “Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.”, or “Its the happ, happiest season of all.” It is as if there is an expectation placed upon us that all is well, our problems are put behind us and we are cheerful and kind to everyone we encounter in our day and we can expect the same in kind. This paradigm of how it is supposed to be, may not be our experience. So all may not be so Merry.
Questions for reflection
Where do you find yourself this season…of the year…of your life?
In this season of hope, are you hopeful? Do you see the Light coming into the world?
Where do you see hope unfolding? Is this season of Light and the coming of the Christ into the world uplift you? In what way?
Do you find yourself in a sad or troubled state? Will shining the light of Christ on it, help to resolve this or is it something that will require deeper work over a longer period of time?