Grateful for Darkness

In late November we are moving into shorter days, when the sun sets early and the night sky lights up for a longer stretch of time. In the summer I am blissed out when I'm driving home from work and can still see the ocean at 8 PM; at this time of year I usually feel a little sad and pouty when I am driving home in the dark. 

Last week was a new moon and I was smitten by its humble beauty, particularly in the early evening when it was already dark. 

And what of the fact that several religious holidays focused on light take place during these months of darkness? Diwali (which was mid-October this year) and Chanukah (which starts at sundown on Friday, December 11), and who could forget the magic of Christmas lights? 

Perhaps darkness is considered a negative quality in our society because of racism. Unfortunately, people seem to associate light with goodness, dark with evil; similarly, light as holy; dark as dangerous.

In truth, darkness is fertile ground for dreams, magic, wisdom and mystery. The dark sky of winter is the backdrop for moon and stars; dark coffee and dark chocolate are delicious and earthy. Dark soil holds the roots of our trees and the ground under our feet. There is tremendous beauty in darkness. 

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure 
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see…

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

~ excerpt from "Sweet Darkness," by David Whyte ~