In a first step toward what might be movement back to the work of the Sophia Center – although that seems still very far away – Cheryl (my co-facilitator) and I are “zooming” today to plan what we hope will be the virtual re-gathering of our book study group to finish consideration of Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, Learning to Walk in the Dark (Is that not a perfect title for this moment in time?) which we left in mid-read in early March.
To prepare for our conversation this afternoon, I pulled the book from its resting place. Upon opening to the chapter where perhaps we left off (a very long month ago), I found a loose sheet with a poem entitled For Light by John O’Donohue. There is a parenthetical subtitle (A Blessing) and I found the first stanza very apt in describing just that. Here is what the poet said:
Light cannot see inside things.
That is what the dark is for:
Minding the interior,
Nurturing the draw of growth
Through places where death
In its own way turns into life.
It seems to me that this is what is happening at this “moment.” We cannot reach for the solace of others except virtually and not being able to touch physically is clearly a loss. Can we, however, learn lessons from this distancing? Does it become a benefit when, in the future, we will need to let go of a significant relationship? Are there times when we must “stand on our own two feet” and come through a danger or challenge that we thought we would never be able to achieve?
There are so many lessons offered to us now. We may not see them as blessings just yet but perhaps we are coming closer to the possibility of awakening to new meanings, new growth, new experiences of life. We may even name those openings “Blessings.”