God-wrestling in the light of day: An educated black woman writes, thinks and prays out loud about scripture, religion, politics, science and the cosmos.
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12 December 2010
Velvet Darkness (Advent III)
In the velvet darkness of the blackest night, burning bright, there's a guiding star, no matter what or who you are. There's a light (over at the Frankenstein place). There's a light (burning the fireplace). There's a light, light, in the darkness of everybody's life.
~ "Over at the Frankenstein Place," The Rocky Horror Picture Show motion picture soundtrack
We are at the darkest point of the year. Before we got into the habit of chronicling each day, month and year in almanacs, I can imagine that ancient peoples were not always certain when the tide of darkness began to turn.
Expressions like "it's always darkest before the dawn" only make sense in retrospect. But in the velvet darkness, I can't tell whether more dark is coming or the light is on the way. There is a period of sojourn in the dark where our eyes cannot see whether the dark is deepening or the light is brightening. Until - the moment it becomes noticeably brighter.
The third candle of Advent adds just a bit more light to the first two candles. But it is enough to turn the tide. The light in the circle (of the wreath) is now an order of magnitude brighter than it was just moments before. The light in the world is growing too. The passing of the solstice is a turn into the universal light of the sun.
The fire of heaven bathes the earth in warmth and light. Spring will come and bring with it new life from the heart of the dark, cold earth and, flowering life planted in and by entwined bodies making and sharing their own heat and light in the winter's cold.