To Know the Dark
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
“The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry,” Counterpoint, 1998: p. 68.
I find myself revisiting this very Novemberish poem. Going dark.
A meditative morning
cleaning out a garden bed,
getting ready for garlic.
Pulling out the old growth
to make room.
Letting in the light,
just before the rain.
There is so much color here —
so much joy in the seeding and growing,
planting and transplanting.
Watching, waiting, watering.
But there is sorrow, too.
Sorrow in letting it all go,
pulling it out —
even as I know that I must let it go
to make space for what is to come.
golden October light
illuminated their world —
and yet so far from
my quiet office mood
upstairs, writing . . .
as their voices
float up the hill.
The first autumn leaves come inside
in baskets and pockets.
Handfuls of chestnuts, shiny brown and gold.
The smell of beeswax fills the house
as rain falls outside
and a chubby toddler brings fists-full
of dirty carrots, fresh from the garden,
inside to wash off
up at the sink.
They are growing up.
These — the first two cousins —
as they pass gracefully through the threshold of childhood . . .
there are seven little ones younger than the two of them,
Cleaning off the table at the end of the week . . . there is much I want to remember and savor here. After two very challenging first weeks, this week was wonderful. The weather. Walks outside. Star gazing. Beach time. Books. Poetry. Writing. Exploring. Wallace’s morning circle. Making wreaths. Shakespeare. Music lessons. Expanding our timeline. Looking at works of great art. Math with Papa. These are the things of my homeschool dreams.
Soft morning light.
Plush, busy baby hands.
Big sister helps him up
on to her lap.
She makes a space
among the many projects
on her morning desk.
This beautiful place we love so. In all seasons. In all colors. All the echoes of our days fade away into the vast blues.
I’m listening to May Erlewine’s newly released album “Mother Lion.” It’s amazing. I could listen to it over and over again.
“I want the dawn to break me open.
I want to breathe and be unbroken.
I want it to take a while.
I want to be wild.”
I love how May sings through the contradictions and vulnerabilities that we live with every day. Thank you for putting your music into the world, May.
this afternoon at the table —
the table around which so much centers:
family meals, conversations,
stories, questions, projects, colors, abundance . . .
Our couch may be tattered
and our table may be worn,
but we are here living together
with our hearts open
and our eyes filled with wonder.