These days, you don’t have to wait long for night. It gets dark fast. We often talk about the shortened length of days this time of the year. However, the days aren’t actually shorter. We have the same hours to our day as ever, it just feels different. Days like these provide us with an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the dark. Things feel different, they look different, we have to do things differently because there’s less light, but that doesn’t take away from the fullness of our day.
When we find ourselves in the dark, we become more aware. Our senses open up and we are watchful in a way that we would take for granted on a bright summer day. This is one reason I love to take night walks during the winter. There’s something about bundling up and walking in the brisk, dark night that awakens me in just the way I need. It forces a shift in my perspective. I see things differently, hear differently, feel differently… I breathe clarity. Everything takes on a new way of being, including myself. My relationship with darkness changes and so does my relationship with light. The light, surrounded by shadow, shimmers in a delicate beauty often unappreciated under noon-day sun. The depth of night shows an elegance often unrecognized when held against the glaring sunlight.
Be sure to take some time today with the dark. Bundle up and take a walk, or dance, under the stars. During this time, consider your perspective of darkness and light. What do you hear? What do you see, or don’t see? How many different kinds of light can you find? How does the light and dark make you feel?
When you are done walking, or dancing, pray in the quiet. Find a safe spot to sit or lay down. Watch the sky. As you gaze into the deep, night sky, notice your breath. Inhale and pray, “I am loved.” Exhale, “So I can love.” Do this at least three times, then let your mind wander with the stars. Give all of your thoughts to God in silent prayer.