2017, brave, darkness, grief, light, solstice

Solstice, Part 2

Six months ago I was sitting here in the dark – physically, emotionally, spiritually. There was darkness everywhere. There were glimmers of light too, but it was mostly dark. And, I was okay with that. Nature outwardly reflected my inward being. We were on the same page – hello, darkness my old friend…

And now, today, another solstice arrives. So much light everywhere. The other night I was sitting on the deck with a friend and we were surprised at how late it had become. We had no clue because we weren’t in the dark – we were sitting in the slow dimming of the evening, thinking it was still 8 or so. As she left around 10 it still wasn’t completely dark yet (we live on the edge of the Eastern Time Zone).

I wouldn’t say nature is exactly reflecting my inward being this time around. Yes, I’m much happier. Yes, I find joy in the small things. Yes, I am grateful each and every day. Yes, I’m excited about new beginnings. Yes, my life is full of love. Yes, the light in me sees and honors the light in you. Yes, yes, yes.

And yet…

The other day as I was cleaning out a closet to make room for my boxes of books from my office, I came across some of Brad’s baby things. Sitting there on the shelf were his first baby shoes. I gasped for air. I was shocked to see these sweet little shoes in front of me. And then, I felt my mending heart break all over again.

The recovery from that brutal moment didn’t take as long as it might have six months ago. I acknowledged the pain and I kept moving forward with the tasks at hand. I know where those shoes are now and maybe next time I open the closet it won’t hurt as much. Maybe.

Just as I was able to find light in those long, dark winter days, darkness can be found in these long, bright summer days. There it is again – both/and. We’re never fully in the dark. We’re never fully in the light.

I remember being in Fairbanks, AK eleven years ago today. We danced in the streets. We drank on bar balconies. We celebrated the light. But then, when I wanted to go to bed, the sun was still up. I needed some darkness to balance out all the light, but it was nowhere to be found. A week or so later when we arrived in Montana, I was so grateful for a dark night. A night where I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. It had been weeks since I had experienced a pure dark night. I didn’t realize how much I needed that darkness until it was gone.

2 am in Fairbanks

Right now I’m soaking in all this light because I know after today it will begin to slowly fade away – over months, of course, nothing drastic. But, when I arrive at the winter solstice later this year, I’ll remember this day – this day full of light and possibility and expectation and joy and love. I’ll hold the light from this day and it will comfort me in those dark days that always find their way back to us. Light and darkness aren’t good and bad. They just are. Today I celebrate the light. Today I am grateful for the long day that in six months will balance out that long night.


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