I slept late this morning but when I got up it was still so dark I couldn’t see my foster dog Brody in the back yard. Finally I saw his eyes lit by my flashlight.
As a grey light enters my room, my contemplative reading is When Women Were Birds, by Terry Tempest Williams. Her mother and grandmothers died within months of each other from cancer. At one place she writes:
The courage to continue in the face of despair is the recognition that in those eyes of darkness we find our own night vision.
This waiting through the darkness of winter requires finding our own night vision – our faith in ourselves, our family and friends, our community, the World and even Something Bigger. Hanukah, the celebration of enough oil to light the lamps in the darkness, has just ended. This is the Christian season of Advent – we are following a faraway star because we are promised The Light. It is a time of anticipation.
Tempest Williams reveals that she has a hemangioma (a tangle of vessels) in the “eloquent area of her brain, the home of language comprehension, where metaphor and the patterned mind live.” She lives with the knowledge that she could have a stroke at any time. Feeling frozen, she wonders how does she live with that diagnoses.
I woke up wondering how will I feel if the results of tomorrow’s echocardiogram show my ejection fraction has bettered to the point, an edge of numbers, that I do not need a defibrillator implant. Or, what if I need one?
Last night I was urging my Bellingham grandkids to get ready for bed. They were decorating small trees in their bedrooms. Phoebe confidently decorated hers’ with glittery snow flakes, bulbs and bows and ribbons. Zeb, 7, was piling the little Christmas tree in his bedroom with stuffed animals. He was tossing older stuffies out of a box at the end of his bed when he called out “Wolfie, my beloved!” Then with his face all lit up he placed this worn, dirty, wolf by his tree.
There is no end to this story. It is a Mystery.