Tuesday, November 22, 2016
“Teach me the power of the dark” – came to me in a dream. The dark is where we live until the light comes. In the dark our hearts are breaking. Our soul is wounded; a black hole in the heart, a dark spell is cast; it holds fast, and we slide into the dark night of the soul. This is the power of the dark.
In the beginning, we are told, humans became the fire bearers; in every home in the world is a place where the fire is kept: a hearth, the heart of the home. For every hearth there is a hearth keeper; in most cultures it is the women who tend the fire, who are the hearth keepers. Tending the fire, is a constant worry and a constant work. If the fire goes out, it must be restarted, or food will not be ready for the table. If the fire dies down children may freeze in their beds, If the fire wood runs out the family is in peril. We gather around the fire to warm ourselves, to share food and drink, to share stories and gain wisdom. Beyond the fire, lies the dark.
Advent is the time when the fire has gone out, and before it is relit. For many of us, this Advent is more than a time to remember the power of the dark, this year we are living it. We women of great heart, are taking up the challenge. We are making friends, sharing stories; cooperating in our natural way. We are creating alliances with those we see every day. We heal wounds, we comfort those men and women who come before us. We make common cause in our daily lives and learn from each other. We are all sisters and brothers in an immense learning community of women.
Each morning, we meet. We greet, face to face, on the street as we walk our infants in strollers, at the market, or the well. And now through the miracle of webs and clouds, we cross the miles, the oceans; the vast spaces evaporate like the dew in the morning sun. We are heart to heart, playing and working side by side, I in my village in the north; you in your village in the south, or west, or east. We carry in our hands our magic boxes linking our knowing in ways we might never have imagined.
I have always known you were there but you seemed so far away. I imagined that you knew not that I cared whether you had clean water, or a chicken to lay eggs, or gruel for your children. But I do care; I never imagined that I could let you know.
We are 3 hundred million strong and we are mending our nets, we are mending the fabric of soil beneath our feet. Can we share as women have always shared, a cup of sugar, an extra blanket, a prayer, a song across the miles? Can we, like the pulses of energy coursing through our bodies heal each other as we heal our families? As we live in these dark days, like our world, we refresh ourselves, resting, replenishing our essential life force, by Grace. It is a time for healing, for remembering who we are and what we are called to be. The light creeps in slowly and the world awakens slowly quietly gently. Solstice is the beginning of the time of gentle awakening. Christmas is the season in which we celebrate the woman who brought Light into the darkness. Let us lean into the fire and into each other with compassion, remembering the women who are the hearth keepers and their ways of caring.