Into the darkness – a prelude

This is one of those plump acorns from earlier in the autumn.

Can you see how it’s opening up and reaching for the dark? But it cannot grow into a sapling oak here on the path.

So I moved it to a place where it could burrow into the leaf mould and the earthy soil to prepare for transformation.

We all need these places, not to hide but to rest and grow.

This is what winter is all about.

And as we approach Advent – that other time of waiting and preparation – here is Gideon Heugh’s prelude, from Darkling: An Advent Journey:


Welcome, stranger. Come in. Lay down.
Let us remove this burden of light
that you have carried around for too long.

It is not the darkness that has blinded you.

But now, free from the glare,
you can let your eyes adjust.
Now, sheltering from all that knowing,
you can sit within the shadows’ strange conferring.
Together we will light a candle –
not to vanquish the dark,
but to further articulate it.

Here may you find the wisdom of winter.
Here may you unlearn the folly of a life
that always climbs the mountain,
that believes in accumulation,
that does not join God as she too lies fallow –
as she too opens herself
to absence.