Last weekend, after our son and our daughter-in-law, and their busy almost-three-year-old daughter and infant son left the cabin, I sat quietly observing day move toward night. As the sun sank below the horizon a chorus of woodland frogs replaced the birdsong of daylight.
As a bow hunter I’ve witnessed the transition from day to night and night to day, countless times. I’ve walked up the hills or into the swamp in complete darkness, without a flashlight, with only the stars, moon, or cloud cover for illumination. My feet instinctively follow the worn trail leading to a tree stand. Occasionally, I startle a deer, rabbit, or unidentified creature. Their leap or scurry startle me. At my tree stand I feel for the rope and tie my bow with attached quiver onto it then slowly make my way up the tree. I feel for the rope attached to the bottom of my stand and pull up the rope until my bow and quiver reach my hand. Then I sit and rest into the trunk of the tree, spine to spine, and become one with the change of night into day. As the sun moves close to the horizon then above it, I see with more clarity.
Walking in during daylight and experiencing the change from day to night is similar but in reverse. In the evening, just after the sun sinks below the horizon, I notice, more profoundly than at sunrise, a brief lull. The wind settles, the creatures stop moving, everything seems to come to a standstill, including my breath. The edge of eternity seems near. As the sun sinks deeper the colors and light fade, darkness sets in, I refer again to my senses, feeling my way down the tree and through the path.
Just as the sun rises and sets daily, just as darkness and light come and go, our interior life follows a similar path; times of darkness followed by times of clarity, times of light followed by times of feeling our way around. It is natural for humans to experience these ebbs and flows, these times of darkness and of light, of surety and of uncertainty. Sometimes in our journey we need the help of others to get us out of some darkness that has hung around too long. Sometimes we benefit from falling from certainty into unsettledness when complacency or avoidances sets in, when we are prompted to grow. It is natural for us as humans to be in a continued state of change, moving in and out of seasons and clarity. Rest assured that we are created to be living in flux with occasional lulls, ebbs and flows, and with glimpses of eternity. Try to rest, spine to spine, against the sturdiness of your faith and move through the changes knowing you are meant for change, for life with its ebbs and flows, for this present moment, and for the completion of some higher purpose.
– Kathryn Walczyk