This may seem like a paradox or an impossibility. And yet, it is in darkness that we experience light. We know that stars are in the sky in the daytime, just as they are at night, but we don’t see them. It takes the absence of the light of the sun for us to see the stars twinkling, and the darker the night, the brighter they shine.
Will we look up and search the night sky? For meaning? For direction? For beauty? For light? In our own lives, likewise, and in our world, can we discipline ourselves, become quiet and observant in this dark time? Can we open ourselves and empty ourselves and stand looking at the darkness, past our fears, past our tears, until the light appears?
We may have to wait. There are times when clouds blanket the sky. There are times when we become weary. There are times when we look and we see, but the meaning escapes us. We are called to be patient and tenacious, and to find others who will keep watch with us.
Together we can weather despair, slog through February. As we acknowledge and experience the days progressing one after another and the earth turning again toward light, we remember that our lives are not our own. We are not responsible for the progression of the seasons. We cannot hurry it. We cannot change it. But when we notice what is happening, when we open our eyes and position ourselves to see the light, we come to know that healing and hope (beyond our ability to produce or procure), are possible.
The earth waits in winter and so must we, but the stars shine above and move through the night sky as they have for centuries reminding us that the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.