Fall break is right around the corner, and everyone is feeling the need. It’s been a hard week for most of us, though sunshine after weeks of grey has helped to raise some spirits. For me, the old darkness seems merely to have deepened, the fog grown denser, as the skies have brightened; and the sun’s promise just makes the mood worse.
The promise is real, of course, and it keeps me alive and functioning; some days I do this well and others not so much. The ones closest to me pay the most in having to endure, and I am grateful more than they will ever know for their love and laughter and the simple comfort of knowing they will now and always refuse to be driven away. Their reward shall be great.
I’ve written before that the sun can seem too bright, too harsh, despite its gift of life. “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” Emily Dickinson wrote; “Too bright for our infirm delight / The Truth’s superb surprise [. . .].” I am indeed infirm, and the moon eases me more, offers me light in doses I can survive. And this morning there she shone as I left, in the early still-black sky a lovely crescent in direct line with Venus and Jupiter to bid me good day and remind me of all I am – mere reflected light, and if today is closer to the new moon than the full, I am still His, to do with as He will, to shine if and as He pleases.
Strength for all of us, Father, in facing the various demons that plague us. Strength to do the next thing, to smile when it hurts, to love and accept love when feelings scream against it, to let ourselves remember and be what we are. In Gerard Manley Hopkins’ words:
I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.
Christ in us – all that matters.