What a difference a night makes. Gardens are for daytime field trips. The colors and light of flowers, sky, bark, and leaves are wondrous to behold. As night falls, all of that glows and fades leaving me in the dark–earlier and earlier in this season. But, there is magic in the nights right now at Longwood Gardens. The gardens come alive in a completely new way–a way that is all but invisible in the bright blue of day. It was amazing to see the gardens by night light–especially after walking around the same spaces first in the day light.
As I wandered, I was reminded of a book I read last year by Barbara Brown Taylor–Learning to Walk in the Dark. I found it to be a guidebook of sorts about the importance, beauty, and holiness of dark spaces and the need to embrace them rather than fear them. She speaks of “endarkenment” as being just as key as enlightenment for spiritual growth. And later shares:
“…the good news is that dark and light, faith and doubt, divine absence and presence, do not exist at opposite poles. Instead, they exist with and within each other, like distinct waves that roll out of the same ocean and roll back into it again. As different as they are, they come from and return to the same source. If I can trust that—if I can give my heart to it and remain conscious of it—then faith becomes a verb, my active response to the sacred reality that the best religions in the world can only point to.”
Excerpt From: Barbara Brown Taylor. “Learning to Walk in the Dark.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/r5HxN.l
The nights are noticeably longer now as October rolls on toward winter. I often lament the shortening of days and inky mornings. Perhaps in this season I can turn back to bookmarked pages and passages and photographs to remind me of the need–and gifts–to be found in the very same space in both light and darkness.