Dark and Light: A Solstice Blessing

By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

“You are the one who knows, behind the rising, falling tide of shadow, the moon is always whole.” -Barbara Kingsolver, Another America

Dark and Light
Are not so separate
As we often imagine.

What of dusk and dawn?
What of starlight radiance
And glow of moon?
What of cloud-cover and rain
Obscuring sun at noon?
What of shadow and shade?
Glimmering, flickering flame of candle–
Circle aglow in surrounding night?
Sunlight streaming through trees,
Sideways beams in late afternoon–
Beauty in the balance
Of the luminous
And hidden?

And so it is in us.
The necessary pull of moon
And rise of sun
Sustaining life.
The inner shadows
Inviting healing,
The spaces of shade
From the too-brightness
Of what seems to sear.
The colors of dawn
Gleaming in the
New-day soul.
The descending dusk of
Letting go into the night
Where the Spirit
Works unseen within.
The edges of light
Greeting darkness–
Spaces of passage
Where what we
Try so hard to keep

And the longest night
Of my life is,
Across the globe,
The longest day
For another.
And my longest day
Is another’s longest night.
The light does not ever vanish,
Nor does the darkness.
What I seek and
What I resist
Always present somewhere
Even when they are not
Always an invitation
And inevitability.

And so blessed are you
Who live in the intersecting places
Of darkness meeting light,
Who refuse to see as separate
The union needed for fullest life–
The balance needed for growth at all.
Blessed are you who enter
The longest night with a heart open
To the gifts the darkness brings.
And blessed are you who bask
In the longest day to soak in
The fullness of what is revealed.

Blessed are the dark
And the light
And the spaces
They gather
To meet
In every season,
In every heart.

Spiritual Practice: Where do you see the meeting of light and dark in your life? How do darkness and light contribute to the growth of your soul? In this Advent season, how does the encompassing darkness prepare us for the arrival of the great light?