light shines through the gray

IMG_2748-150x150A few weeks ago, after an out of town job, I tucked into a bar on a local bay for warmth, and to write the following….

Gray is the color of the bay. Not steely gray—that would have some glint to it, right?
No, this was an envelope of gray, a duvet of gray–although duvets are cozier. The gray is endless, more so than any “endless ” blue sky because blue sky hits the dirt or water or mountain eventually.
This is endless gray–water below, sky above– the horizon line completely obliterated. Completely. Utterly. Gone are the fluffy clouds or foamy waves, or any waves. Stillness reigns, broken up only by the signs of life in the form of black seabirds, nondescript from here…and then they fly off.

I sit here with a warm drink and reflect on the mood of the world’s heart: I would describe it as gray. There are exceptions of course; hot angry pokers tend the fires of fear. Red hot words flare from up from those fires…you know them because you hear or read them in the news all the time.

But actually, the numbing power of gray is everywhere, covering all other emotions with somber, sad, quiet gray velvet containers because it’s just too much otherwise.

We go about our days, and we pray and we hope and we pray some more. We try our best in the battle against the gray: someone helps an elder woman with her groceries or some of us tend to children or we do good things. We still post inspiring or inane or silly stuff on FaceBook. We send out messages of peace, hope, love, more hope and  prayers and more fricken prayers and….

It’s “sunset” on the bay now–big quote marks around “sunset” because there is no apparent sun to set here in winter gray territory. And yet…
There’s a light! A light on the horizon! Ahoy there!

Another one pops up in the dark: OK, so it’s a container ship or an oil tanker, and some of the lights might be Christmas lights.
But the lights break up the gray and and dark and heck, they even look pretty–like hope might look on this dark night of the collective soul.

Hopeful thoughts, bah–what good are they anyway? And
prayers–they can look mundane, not terribly useful.
Yet they are good, very good. Prayers– like the lights–break up not only the gray. No. They also break up the dark itself.

In darkness we can have enough contrast to see that which is not dark.
Such as light. Such as hope. Such as life: we are still here. after all.
Don’t ever let it go out. You know what I mean. You do.
Gray is a fact of life. But so is our light. It’s there.

blessings of peace, hope and light,


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Elke Macartney

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