The waning moon greeted me into the pre-dawn morning air, brisk and chilly. Morning is a good time to reflect, and yesterday was hard.
Yesterday was hard. Nearly non-stop reports poured from the news outlets of families and a community torn apart as an assassin targeted their synagogue on their holy day, during services.
Yesterday was hard. Mid-term elections are days away and the rhetoric, hatred and violence among the increasing polarized parties is palpable, like poison, as some of my fellow Americans seemingly find some satisfaction in tearing down one another.
Yesterday was hard. One of the best families I have ever had the honor of knowing watched their youngest child, not yet forty, leave this earth after weeks of organ failure, knowing they couldn’t stop the process.
Yesterday was hard, and my heart ached for all of these things and more as I raised my eyes towards the west to watch that moon this morning. From the holly trees the birds began their early songs, and the sky changed.
Several hours after sunrise, I was one of many in a congregation in a church in North Carolina hearing about a blind man, who only wanted to see, and was granted that grace and gift. It’s in the Gospel of Mark, look it up. It’s good stuff. The priest gave us this quote upon which to dwell, and this is a very rough paraphrase, but it went something like: “Better to have blind eyes and be able to see with one’s heart than to have sight but refuse to see”. He’s right.
Sadness is only part of the journey. There is immense beauty, joy, and love in this world, but we have to remember to look for it and at it. It’s here. It’s in all of us. And if we can’t find it when we look around, then perhaps it’s time for us to make it happen.
What has turned into a mostly clear-blue sky day began with a few clouds. Sometimes, there are clouds at sunrise. That doesn’t mean sunrise is any less important or beautiful, or welcomed. It simply means the morning sun will shine on and through the clouds, shattering the dark of night, and perhaps that’s the lesson for me this day, to acknowledge the darkness and difficulties, especially on the hard days, without allowing those things to dull this beautiful life.