Finding the gift of the dark
And so, our enforced hibernation this winter continues. We still await the sight of the morning star to prove that day is coming after this long night. (Never did I think that I would be waiting so eagerly for Boris to speak!).
I am currently trying to learn a little bit about John of the Cross (of 'Dark Night of the Soul' fame). As you may know, having been imprisoned in solitary confinement in the 1570s, he explores the riches of the night and all that it can teach us.
One excerpt talks about the fear of the dark because of all the unknowns. However, he encourages us;
'To reach a new and unknown land ... travellers cannot be guided by their own knowledge ... they cannot reach new territory ... if they do not take these new and unknown roads and abandon familiar ones'.
(Dark Night book 2)
Christopher Chapman continues in his book 'Seeing in the Dark', 'If I abandon what is familiar and known I will find lands I do not know and cannot now see. It is the dark not the light that holds the gift'.
In this current unfamiliar territory can we find new ways forward? As I suggested to our weekly Monday Meditators, perhaps as you are meditating/thinking today, you can close your eyes and rest in this darkness for a while. Or come along to our retreat (online) this Saturday or next and practice there.
Book on Eventbrite 'Finding your Song'.
Helping people find their way, is something we are passionate about here at Treargel.
Here is a wonderful poem written by one of our Treargel Monday Meditators, which also talks of the dilemma of winter and night.
Here in this sleeping graveyard
A shoot burrows the clay
Forcing onwards, undeterred.
Days lengthen, all creatures stir.
Yet this winter fears the spring,
How does the fallen tree find root?
Or the lone swan learn to sing again?
Easier to hibernate than stretch tendrils
Towards this mutated dawn.
The globe has revolved too far,
Orbited beyond our knowing.
There are no rocks to cling
No stars to guide
In this black hole of uncertainty.
But watch, the wind still blows
The moon measures the waves
Sparrows find their nests
Swallows sense their homeward flight
Can we redefine our words into meaning?
Speak with our eyes, listen with our feet
And hear with a heartbeat?
Will the oceans be our barometer?
Or the cracked earth our signpost?
This is the night watch
Time to shed old skins,
embrace the cold wet clay
And ponder the sunrise.
Watch as the morning breaks
And wait till it beckons.
Thank you to Catherine Lightfoot for this poem.
We are currently still closed, but as I say, eagerly waiting for new government guidelines. We're tentatively taking bookings, and pencilling them in for the summer (and can easily cancel). The Byre and Piggery are already booked over the school summer holidays, but there is still lots of space in the Hermitage and at other times. May and June are particularly beautiful here in Cornwall. Though we understand that people are being cautious. We also still have the NHS bursary for those who have been working so incredibly hard for us all. And our ordinary bursary for others.
Right, let me crack on with preparing for next winter.
Have a good one and don't forget to comment below or email me to say 'Hi'.
'Rest in the secure darkness'.