So much of our imagery is based on light as good, darkness as bad, from the dualism of Zoroastrianism, and the language of scripture, the light is set up as good, those who dwell in darkness as bad. It is better to light a candle than curse in darkness. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never overcome it. Children of light are good, while children of darkness are bad. T.F. Powys, “Darkness and Nathaniel” , is one of the only fables I have read which challenges that.
Yet, as someone who engages in astronomy, this is not the case. There is beauty in darkness. So here is a poem all about reversing expectations, about the goodness of the night.
In Praise of Darkness
Darkness rising, stars excelling
Moon above, to earth draw down,
Inner light, in us indwelling;
Come anoint us, with your crown.
Bring to life, our true compassion;
And give to us the healing art
That through us may flow salvation;
Healing every wounded heart.
Breathe, O breathe, mighty spirit
Beating heart inside our breast
Sacred past let us inherit
Find the still point, place of rest
Hear the stars, joyful singing
Light of distant ages see
From time’s dawn, its beginning
Bringing hope and liberty.
Come the night time storm deliver;
Dancing in the rain receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Nevermore the temples leave.
Within the ritual, there is blessing,
Blessing descending from above,
Turning the wheel, without ceasing,
Binding fellowship in love.
Sea, sky, earth: the whole creation;
Sacred patterning, it will be
Embrace the pattern, here salvation
Enlightenment restored we see
Moonlight beaming her full glory
A holy time, a sacred space
Breath of life, now breath in me
Bring me wonder, love, and praise.