The other day I was working in my office with a lovely west-facing window and wondered why “all of a sudden” the room was so dark….”Must be a cloud over the sun, after all it’s not even 5 o’clock yet”. Ah, yes. The final weeks of November and first ones of December always catch me off-guard. How can it get this dark this early??
Yes, I know it’s about orbits, axis shirts and seasonal cycles, but it still holds my imagination and wonder. And Awe. And truthfully, not a little fear…I admit I’m intimidated by rural driving in the pitch black. Then I turn on the coloured lights on the evergreen outside my front window. Ah, yes. Small lights make big differences.
Those lights often encouraged me in my spiritual life this week. I was so frustrated by the news: dwarfing of remembrance of some events (like the 28th anniversary of the intentional hunting of women at École Polytechnique in Montréal) in light of others (the Olympic Committee’s response to athletes of only one nation who cheated to win). That got more airtime than reports of ongoing bombing and fighting in the Levant. There was more efforts to downplay the claims by those targeted for abuse and harassment because of gender – 1989 all over again. Then there was That Announcment by the USA formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel – despite international law about occupation, UN policies on “international cities”, not to mention a seemingly flagrant indifference for consequences in terms of disregard of general human and minority rights in the occupied part of East Jerusalem, not to mention geo-political consequences. It seems that the clouds of reason have darkened the sun…it is too early for “all hell to break loose” – again.
And that’s when those little coloured lights start to remind me of the underlying truth of all festivities this month: there are little pricks of light in the darkness, and taken together can make something beautiful. Whether that’s in Romeo Saganash’s speaking Cree in the House of Commons on behalf of Bill C-252, or groups that gather to encourage one another in the hope and vision that if we all were treat every person in our community (and globe) as if they were family, kin, there would be no greed or need and peace would reign. Or that with a birth of one child a new world order of justice and peace begins. Or that through unseen collaboration one small vial of oil can light sacred space for 8 days. Or gathering enough food for many families to make merry, one can, one box at a time. Miracles of light in a world where darkness casts its pall.
We may curse the darkness. But we can also show the small light of Hope that each of us carries. Together we can make a beautiful place, and “say to the darkness ‘we beg to differ.’”* So thanks, Spirit, tonight, it’s not quite so dark.
*quote attributed to Mary Jo Leddy, 1990 book of that title
Thanks to smithsonianmag.com for the photo.