Braid Mission


Seasons of Darkness and Light

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Carl Jung once stated: “Everything psychic is pregnant with the future.”

He says that we need “to be at home in the darkness of suffering and there find germs of light and recovery.”

When I was at school in Scotland, I would often travel to the Isle of Skye in the summer months to visit a dear friend.

At that latitude in the summer, the sky never held a deep dark. There was “darkness” at the deepest point of the night, but most of the night hours saw a gray hue, like a mist or a veil. One could not always see clearly, but one could see nonetheless.

This made up for the winter where the hours of sunlight were very limited and one was plunged into a deep darkness for much of the day. The short Scottish winter days were more than compensated by those long Scottish summer days.

I have over the years found myself reflecting upon this extreme in the far north – seasons of great darkness and seasons of great light.

I have often thought how this reflects the experience of life. I wonder if all of us might be able to identify seasons in our lives when the light seemed bright and glorious with light and we felt as though we were carried upon the winds. And I wonder if we have had those seasons when we were groping for the walls, with light seemingly lost and wondering if we would ever emerge from the darkness.

The beauty of nature is that it is always willing to teach if we are willing to observe and learn. Even in the darkest of Scottish winter days there was a promise whispered that summer would come. And it did. And even in the brightest of summer nights the winds would foretell darkness to come.

We do not need to live in the farthest northern remotes to learn this lesson from “our fragile island home.” We too know that life is seasonal and cyclical, and sometime in all of our lives we will experience deep darkness and majestic light. Most of the time we will tread a path someplace in between where light and dark together are evident.

Perhaps at present we feel that we are in a chapter where we struggle to see a path forward because the way is shrouded in the darkness. But the promise of light is not gone, even in the darkest of nights. Indeed, that is when the promise and the hope can be found most intently. Light might be apparent only in short bursts, but it is present with the promise and hope for tomorrow.

And we know that in those radiant days when it seems that “God is in god’s heaven and all is right with the world,” even then the shadows lurk reminding us that we are to revel in the light while we have it, bask in its life energy, empowering us to grow in new and unexpected ways.