Last night I hauled out around the fire pit, and snoozed upon the sweet hard earth. No cushion– that’s how I needed it. (“He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag…” goes the old Tanakh tales…) No body beside me other than the slugs and bugs, who did not frighten me. No light but the stars, my dinky little fire, my soul and it’s Maker. No music but the song I sang to the Beautiful One, “Come down, O love divine/ seek thou this soul of mine, and visit it with thine own ardor glowing…” And I made my way into the darkness around me, eyes opening wide into the night.
Over the past few years I have been mysteriously reminded by people unconnected to each other that it is possible to see in the dark. I have been shown this with love. You open your eyes so wide that the tangible darkness gets into them like a thickness, but it makes you see. Your skin, more attuned, becomes electric. Your center repositions, your skin-hairs alert, and you see how the animals see.
And you understand then that you can do what you thought you couldn’t, that you have reserves of strength in places you never considered. That is Grace: we don’t create it, just open to it already there in the world. You see that there is light in unlikely places, that you are never left without a way through the thicket. Not a songbird is lost.
In the words of the one hundred and thirty ninth’s psalm, “Even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.”
Image © Gentle J. Pine. All rights reserved.