I was asked this the other day, just as I was at Christmas, and my answer was a half truth, I said I was seeing family, and I will be, but not tomorrow, but I answered as I did because I knew it would make the other person feel better. Trying to explain that I am struggling with celebrations at the moment is really hard, actually it is exhausting. To many a family get together will make us all feel better, and of course there are many times when it does. Maybe I should have told the truth, but I didn’t, so….
Today being Holy Saturday, I am embracing the shadows, I am also watching tennis, which may seem strange, and maybe it is just strange but true. It is a lovely day, and I have opened a few windows to let the fresh air through, and bird song is filling my home. I have also done some laundry, yesterday I cut the grass, but that doesn’t mean that I am not finding celebrations difficult. If I am honest I often struggle with the jubilation of Easter Sunday, and this year as I have already shared I could do with Lent lasting a little longer.
At this point I have still not returned to work, and while I have been going out for some walks, reading and taking photographs I know that I am still healing. I am healing from many things, and am certainly not looking to apportion blame anywhere, but life has been a roller coaster over this last decade in many ways, and I have dropped my mask of coping, and am finding my truth, and in that truth is healing.
Part of that healing is noticing how I am feeling, and dealing with things I may need to deal with, the truth is at the moment my days are very much focused upon when I can go back to bed, I am trying to create a healthy routine, of going to bed and getting up at regular times, and on the whole I am succeeding, and I do feel better for it, but that includes fighting my impulses, like pondering climbing into bed at 4pm, or taking myself out of bed at 8am. I have also given myself the discipline of writing everyday, and have stuck to that, it is doing me good. I am also reading and keeping my paper journal. All of this is being done in consultation with my GP and a counsellor.
So what am I doing for Easter, well I will see what tomorrow brings, I may head out for a walk, I may just take the day slowly and allow the gospel accounts to speak to me afresh, I may do both, but I am not planning a family party. Like the women who approached the tomb before dawn I will approach the day slowly and carefully. I know the truth of the resurrection, and that certainly gives me hope, for I know that new life begins in the dark. It’s okay to embrace your shadows, and if this for me is a dark night of the soul I know that I am not alone, many dear friends are praying for me, and the God who promises there is nowhere I can flee from their presence remains faithful and true.
So, what am I doing for Easter? I am trusting, I am waiting, I am believing. All will be well..
New life begins in the dark, whether it is a seed in the ground, a babe in the womb or Jesus in the tomb.
Barbara Brown Taylor- Learning to Walk in the Dark.