Sunday, December 20, 2015

Knowing the dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
– Wendell Berry
from “To Know the Dark”

At nearly midnight tomorrow the winter solstice will occur at Farm Dover. By the time it arrives, it will have been dark for nearly six and a half hours. And it will be nearly eight more hours before the sun rises above our little cottage. It is the longest night.

In his poem, I suspect Wendell Berry may have been referring to the darkness that lurks within our souls, but I challenge you to embrace the physical dark, to know the dark – as it too blooms and sings. Bundle up. Go willingly into the dark. Surrender to it. Look up. The stars are brightly shining. A full moon will rise on Christmas Day. Listen. Around here, coyotes yelp. Turkeys gobble from their tree-top roosts. And an owl will let its presence be known by the soft flap of its wings.

There is a beauty in the darkness that we never imagined.


Yuletide blessings to you and your clan. May there be light in your life and much joy on your journey in the coming year. Rest assured that warmth, sunlight and longer days are somewhere up the trail.

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