Grace and Peace to you.
Yesterday at 7:09 p.m. (Eastern time) the sun crossed over the equator. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s now summer. But you folks in Australia and Sough Africa who are starting winter can keep us honest: for everything we experience, there’s another perspective!
In the summer the days will get hotter…but not longer. We’ve had the longest day of the year; they’ll get shorter from today on. The hot days of summer don’t come until after the sun has done its great strenuous work, and the days are already shrinking. In its waning season, the sun is most powerful. Even in these sunny days, the darkness is growing. Even in strength and power, there is still loss and diminishment. In the midst of life, there is death. Balancing the Northern Hemisphere is the Southern.
We long for the light, but God has so tempered the world that there is not pure light, but night and day, summer and winter. We can’t become attached to any one extreme. But we can be attentive to the shading of things, and to the peculiar mix that is in the present moment.
Having passed another birthday last week, I am aware of the linear nature of life: it proceeds in one direction, and will never come this way again. But the solstice reminds us that it is also cyclical. Maybe we move in a spiral. Maybe time is neither strictly circular nor linear, but cumulative, like rings of a tree. We don’t leave the past behind; we add to it. Life is past and future mingled in the present: life and death, attaining and losing, suffering and deliverance, summer and winter, each present, each passing. Therefore even death is not final. There is always more life. Always.
Even in the summer of your life, winter is working. Even as life is growing in you, so is death. Be mindful of both life and death. Honor them both, for they are both blessed. The darkness shines in the light, and the light cannot overcome it.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes