Last night I was woken from sleep by an owl, calling out in the darkness. I couldn’t see the owl, he was out of my sight, up on my roof, but his song, that beautiful sound, repeated in the night.
We all know, every one of us, the phases of light and dark on this earth. We move instinctively toward the light, and away from the darkness. It is easy to feel Spirit, the Divine Presence, in the bright beauty of this world, when we see the hawk overhead, see the wind and sun dancing in new green leaves … or when we hold a beloved as they sleep. We want to stay in the light, we want to dance with the joy of this human life.
So often, we fear the coming of night. We move away from the darkness. We resist it, we fear it.
In your time of night, when you are lost and can’t find your way back, when you can’t see the light, where is your help? when there are no hands to catch you, are you really alone? Can you hear that calling in the night? What is that beautiful song in the darkness?
Maybe it is in the darkness that we can most feel Spirit. Maybe without those trials we would never submit to the hand that holds us, never let Spirit fully into our lives. Maybe we need to be in the deepest darkness to find the source of light. Darkness is the gift that strengthens our spirituality, our faith in something beyond the dark. We learn to call out and find Spirit when we most need that connection.
I don’t claim to know what that mystery I call Spirit actually is—but I can feel that presence, a love and power surrounding me. I have felt held by that at times when there was no other solace. It is through these times of darkness that we may learn that something is always with us, within and surrounding us, carrying us through all the beautiful and the brutal moments of our lives. Maybe, just maybe, we can learn to not fear the return of the night, for we are never really alone in the dark.