I have always preferred night time to daylight, for as far back as I can take my memory. Something about it comforts, shields & intrigues me, while also allowing things to unfold in an unsuspecting way. In all seasons, I take my greatest pleasure from night activities and places. There is a quickening, a static electricity in the hours between sunset and rise, palpable and pliable at the same time. Sensory.
In a summer evening thunderstorm I am always so astonished to notice the landscape unchanged as lightning reveals everything as it was in daylight. Expecting transmutation, I am simultaneously drawn toward and frightened by the creatures that come out from their hiding places when the dark unfolds.
I find myself reveling in these long winter nights more than ever, lighting candles right at dusk, slipping back into the quietude, and willing the hours to linger. At work, I turn down the lights on the dimmer switch in the middle of the day for that dreamy light quality I hold so dearly.
This season asks us to steady ourselves as the light finds its way back to the center of our lives, the spotlight seems always upon the brighter days, or as Camus pondered to “find within us our invincible summer”. But I embrace the regeneravtive power of the darkness which holds it’s own sacred embers for the inner fire. Simplified, you cannot have light without darkness, the contrast is what defines, what gives meaning, what holds space for anything that exists.
Again I am reminded of the need for AND over OR~ I do not choose darkness over light, rather, I choose darkness and light to guide me, to restore me to wholeness, to bring it’s own offertory for healing.
I find it very simple and yet grounding to stand at my little shrine, light a candle, burn some sage or palo santo, breathe in deeply the warming scents of cinnamon, clove, ginger and say a little prayer; for Isaac and for myself. For Love and Pain. . For Peace and Thanksgiving. For Wisdom and for Grace. For Light and Dark.
“The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb- time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.” ~John O’Donohue