The Persistence of Light

[Excerpt from article first published in Cultivating magazine by Cultivating Oaks Press, Ltd]


In the womb-like darkness where we are remade, 

the seeded awareness of light piercing through 

is the source of our hope.


It's January, and the days are dark. We eat breakfast by dark windows reflecting our sleepy faces, and it’s dark again while I cook dinner. I light candles, leave the twinkle lights up through Epiphany and beyond. The world draws into itself, hunkering down. Tiny seeds sleep under frozen earth, unaware they await transformation into lithe green beings hungry for light.

At bedtime, my daughter reluctantly closes her eyes and gets ready for sleep, dreading the journey into the dark. We focus on her breathing: in for 5 counts, hold for 4, out for 7, listening to the ticking of her little clock. I read part of Psalm 7, about God being a shield that keeps us safe. “What image comes to mind?” I ask.

“Three children in a field,” she says, “surrounded by a huge shield — heavy as metal, strong like stone.”

“What else is inside the shield?” I ask, curious.

“A tree,” she says, “a big tree, with lots of different kinds of fruit, all the kinds — pomegranate, mango… You can pick any kind of fruit you want and eat it.” 

I smile. “That’s beautiful, sweetheart.” She smiles back, tremulous. She wants all doors open, her bedroom, the kitchen, the door to the living room where my husband and I sit in the evening. She says closed doors make her feel cut off. I turn off the kitchen lights so they don’t blaze into her room. We lower the TV volume and try to talk in hushed voices. 

It’s 10:45 pm and we’re brushing our teeth, when a little voice comes from the darkened room. “Mom?” A quaver. She’s woken up, disconsolate. She already knows re-settling will be harder this time, now she’s had some sleep. The scary, uncharted waters between awake and asleep threaten to engulf again. I sit on her bed, rubbing her back, and we talk about imagination. “Imagination,” I say quietly, “is one way God made us in His image…


This is an excerpt from the essay I contributed to Cultivating magazine's Winter 2024 issue, “Hope”. Want to read the rest of the story?  Click HERE… 

When you're done, pour a cup of something delicious and browse the rest of the luminous, nourishing offerings – each one is delightful! 


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