A Season of Darkness

Rev. Deborah Moldow, Founder, Garden of Light
Rev. Deborah MoldowHere in the northern hemisphere, it gets dark so suddenly. The lovely autumn comes to a close, the winter chill begins to creep into the air, the days are growing shorter - and then, BAM! Daylight Savings Time comes along to make the late afternoon feel like midnight! And here we are.

Sometimes those of us who feel blessed to be on a lighted path need a sharp reminder: without darkness, there can be no light. The divisive election in America was only the latest tear in the field -- we have seen so many others. Syria rips our hearts open daily. Immigrants from failed states batter the gates of Europe in epic numbers. Nuclear states flex their muscles, goading us to think the unthinkable. Israel and Palestine sink deeper into stalemate with each passing year. 

And all of this human strife pales in in comparison to the threat of the 6th Great Extinction or our acidifying oceans choked with plastic, or the next chapter in extreme weather caused by climate change. 

Look around! All the systems of our modern civilization that have brought us safety, health, comfort and opportunities beyond the wildest dreams of centuries past have reached the end of their paradigm. Like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the hole in the dike, we have been hoping to stem the tide of our own destruction by the means at hand. We hoped to fix things with our science, with our enterprises, with our laws, with our NGOs, with our United Nations. 

But we've begun to notice that all of these systems were born of the paradigm that created the problems, grounded in the sins of exploitation of people and resources. The United Nations can rise only to the level of consciousness of its Member States - if we refuse to act on climate change or nuclear weapons, it cannot compel us. Only a shift in human consciousness can bring us the fresh ideas needed to steer the enormous vessel of our collective civilization away from the iceberg of human extinction.

How can we get there from here? 

Well, certainly not with business as usual. Perhaps it is time for some "dark night of the soul," time to go deep into the silent void that is the source of all creation. 

Our brave sisters and brothers at Standing Rock have one basic message that transcends all others: we must honor the Earth that sustains us. Here in the northern climes, let us honor the sacred darkness of the winter. 

Let us stop resisting and learn to embrace the darkness, like some great inbreath of the Divine -- whose outbreath could bring light beyond anything we have ever known.

May Peace Prevail on Earth.