Season of the Dark Mothers

It’s been a rough year for many in my personal circles, and it’s been a rough year for our larger communities. Some of my friends have struggled with illness, some with loss, some with financial strain. White nationalists have marched openly in our nation’s streets, and an ill, ignorant, unrepentant bully sits supreme in the White House, seemingly supported by many of my family, friends, and neighbors.

How to make merry this holiday season, while aware that the malignancies of bigotry and systematic oppression fester in our country?

How to honor holy winter, when at the same time we continue to foul, strip, and destroy the very ground of her being?

How to celebrate the return of the light, when the most recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize cautions that “the death of millions may be one tiny tantrum away”?

justin-bridges-291608Photo by JUSTIN Bridges on Unsplash

The Dark Mothers call us to live with paradox, and this is Their season.

They are the keepers of the dead and the nurses of the new.

They remind us that the mysteries of healing, growth, and development begin unfolding in holy darkness.

They incubate dreams and insight.

They invite us to rest, even when there’s so much more to be done.

The Dark Mother of this particular season stands at the crossroads and points in every direction to evidence of an unsettling truth: that the Universe, God Herself, the World As It Is, is unconcerned with morality. She simply unconditionally is, ever-changing. We as humans choose the values we serve. Then we bend the course of change, by our choices and our actions.

Flickr_-_Laenulfean_-_crossroadsphoto by Carsten Tolkmit

Our future selves and our future world are indeed born from such choices in the dark. There’s a source of hope for me this season, and what I’ll be holding in mind, when I gather with friends tomorrow night to light hundreds of candles in front of the hearth in my living room. We can allow the world to be as it is, even when it’s broken. We can choose to engage the living, breathing world with a sense of love, possibility, and agency, even when we know things have gone wrong.

The Dark Mothers call us to live with paradox, and this is Their season.

May we all find the space, rest, and room to grow in the darkness. Merry Midwinter 2017.

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