December 26, 2014

Waiting in the Dark

I’ve decided that I really like who I am.  When I wrote earlier about having downtimes it may have sounded like a bad thing.  It’s not.  I don’t mind feeling a bit low because it makes the up times better.  Life isn’t constant and how boring would that be if it were?  You may disagree with me on that and that’s fine.  My hope would be that everybody comes to learn what they believe to be true about life and about themselves. 

Take today for instance.  Jack calls it the worst day of the year.  Christmas is over and he has to wait 364 more days for it to come again.  When everybody left our house yesterday, Luke came into the kitchen, “I hate this.  It’s so sad.”  He was holding back tears. 

Tim told me that Luke came up to him too, “I wish we all had just one more present to open.”  It wasn’t that he was ungrateful for all we had given him.  He didn’t want more presents.  He wanted more time, more celebration.  The end of the holiday was over and he was mourning it. 

That’s perfectly normal and healthy.  I don’t ever want to be numb to the mourning and sadness.  If I weren’t sad when something ended, that would mean that the event, or celebration, or relationship wasn’t so great.  I want things in my life that I can mourn when they end.  I want seasons in my life that are so amazing that I’m sad at the conclusion.  If there were no valleys in life, how could we see the mountains to climb?  When at the top of those mountains, the panoramic views are beautiful because we see the shadow veiled valleys we climbed out of and others that we will inevitably descend into.  The views are also breathtaking because we can see the light reflecting off other peaks.  Life is a journey and a hike.  There are highs and lows.  Light and dark.

With Winter Solstice just passed us, I’ve been thinking a lot about the presence of light.  I hate waking up in the dark and the sun leaving us around 4pm.  I need the light; I crave it and love it.  But now is a time of waiting in the dark, waiting for the light to return.  That’s not to diminish the time we spend waiting it out.  Waiting in the dark is good and holy too. 

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting.  Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:  So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
-T.S. Eliot

I don’t know if you believe in God or not.  If you believe in the Goodness or the Light this argument works too I think.  If you disagree, I would love to hear it because I’m far too old and tired to pretend that I have it all figured out.  I think God or Goodness or Light is with us in the dark.  For me, I believe in God and try to follow Jesus so we were at church on Christmas Eve.  The pastor called all the kids up on stage and read them a book about a grumpy shepherd.  The moral of the story was that as soon as the shepherd met Jesus, it changed his life and he wasn’t grumpy anymore.  I think that’s true, but it’s not the whole story.  Jesus (or Goodness or Light, or whatever you believe in) is okay with grumpy too.  He’ll sit there with us, waiting in the dark. He doesn’t shame us for being there.  And us, waiting in that valley, it doesn’t mean that we lack faith or that we aren’t following all the right rules. Jesus sits beside us and whispers, “It’s okay, I made this too.  Isn’t it beautiful?”  The night is just as holy as the day.

Whatever metaphor I use to describe the ups and downs of life, they exist.  It’s healthy for me to acknowledge them.  It’s taken me a while to get to this place.  Maybe it’s just because I’m well past 30 and it’s taken me a while to shake off what the world tells me about what I should think, what I should look like and how I should act.  Maybe I’m just sick of pretending to live a constant, median life.  I want to celebrate as well as I mourn.  That kind of life sounds appealing.  Because remember, there is dancing in the stillness and I’m going to dance the shit out of this life.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and well said! It's good to acknowledge how we feel, good or bad. I Love you, Mom