Perhaps this surrender into acceptance would create space for a different resurrection, for something unexpected to grow from the fertile soil that this grief had created.

I walked in the dark this morning. When I left home it was like stepping out into the fullness of night. The moon was hidden and all I had was a little head torch to guide my way. My path led through muddy woodland paths, country lanes and out onto the wider spaces of our local common. I disturbed some roosting pigeons and pheasants along the way and met the gaze of a few pairs of eyes reflecting from the torch, staring intently until whatever they belonged to hopped into the hedge and went on its way.

The darkness echoed my own state of heart. It came as mirror to how I was feeling. I carried with me  a familiar sadness, part of a specific grief that had been present to me on and off for almost a decade. I welcomed the darkness of this pre-dawn as a companion to me in my sadness. I stopped at my friend the beech tree to place my hand upon her steady, aged trunk and heard her whisper “I know”, she too had been witness to grief and tempest and I’m sure had had many a hand laid upon her in search of reassurance. 

I wrestled as I walked, returning once more to this familiar grief, a place I hadn’t visited for a while. It had changed over the years, the anger and tears that had been present were now less and a greater place of acceptance had taken root. As I walked I sensed an invitation was being offered, an invitation to accept that what had been could never be again, to let go of my final (futile yet very real to me) attempts at clinging onto something that had actually been lost a long time ago. To fully open my hands and let what had been die. It was, I realised, impossible to go back, impossible to make something come alive from ashes that had no ember left.

As I came to this realisation, something shifted within, somewhere inside gave up the fight and I imagined my feet finally landing on something firm like the bottom of a deep pool. I had reached  complete surrender. Along with the tears came a sweet grace. Acceptance created space within my heart for more healing. I had fought valiantly, I had tried so hard to bring resurrection to this death in the way that I wanted it. It was a relief to finally and fully let go. There had been many steps of acceptance along the way and this was the final one. 

My walk continued, dawn slowly beginning to break through the darkness. Not a spectacular, golden sunrise but a quiet, gradual emergence of light. This too mirrored my heart as I let go. The sadness of what had been and no longer was may remain and yet I now knew that it would also come with a grace to look back on what was and be thankful, celebrate even. Perhaps this surrender into acceptance would create space for a different resurrection, for something unexpected to grow from the fertile soil that this grief had created. 

Walking in the dark can be a painful and perplexing process. It can often feel as if dawn will never come. The journey through pain can sometimes be necessarily long, it can take time for us to be healed, to let go, to come to accept what we never wanted to. But walking in the dark can also be an adventure of learning to trust, of being ok with where we are at any given time, to celebrating our enough-ness even alongside wishing things were different, better or not this. 

May you know courage and grace as you journey through the dark. May you experience the sweetness of dawn and until then be comforted by the still, quiet gift that the dark brings. 

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