brave, change, darkness, days, grief, jan richardson, lent, light, rest, seasons, suffering


Here I am again, in the dark. I thought I’d been through this already. I thought I made it out of the dark. I thought I learned this lesson. But, there’s more to learn. The darkness has returned.

In Jan Richardson’s book Circle of Grace, I’m reading and rereading her blessings for Lent. This selection comes from “Where the Breath Begins”:

I tell you,
though it may be hard
to see it now,
this is where
your greatest blessing
will find you.

I tell you,
this is where
you will receive
your life again.

I tell you,
this is where
the breath begins.

Daylight Savings Time doesn’t seem to make much sense anymore. I’m sure somewhere, for some reason, it still makes sense. But here, for me, it doesn’t. Why do I find myself waking up in the darkness again? Just a few days ago I woke up to the sunlight. I woke up easily. I woke up without struggle. Now, however, the alarm goes off at the same time and I’m in the dark. Not just a little bit of dark, but full on no-glimpse-of-sun-anywhere darkness.

I’m in the wilderness. I’m in the desert. I’m in the dark. I’m surrounded by vast emptiness. I don’t want to be here, but I am. I don’t want to be in the dark anymore, but I am.

Remember, you came out of darkness before – you can do it again.

What will I learn this time?

As much as I don’t want to be sitting in the dark, I continue to find comfort in this place. I’m ready for the fullness of the sun and yet, my soul asks me to stay here in the dark just a little longer. I’m ready for spring and blossoming flowers and yet, my soul asks me to wait just a little longer before becoming something new.

There’s still work to do in this dark place. There’s still rest to be had. There’s still disappointment and grief to be lived. It’s harder to do this kind of work in the brightness of the day. This work is meant for dark, quiet places. This is work is meant to be done in secret.

In the darkness I feel permission to fully feel. In the darkness I feel at home. I want the light and the warm air because that feels safer, more secure. However, where I need to be is here in the dark – here in a place where grief feels safe to speak her truth. Light and warmth offer me relief. I am grateful for the unexpected relief of the past few months. Now, however, it’s time to return to mornings of darkness, mornings of walks bundled up in a coat and gloves. It’s time to remember that healing is a slow process, a process that can’t be rushed by a fake spring.

I am in the darkness once again. I am home.


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