All the Light We Cannot See

The title of the acclaimed novel by Anthony Doerr (Simon & Schuster, 2014) begins in the dark, 1944 Germany, a blind girl in a small town on the Coast of Brittany, France, 1944, waiting alone in a house for the bombs to fall.

My brother highly recommended this book to me. In this tightly woven story of suspense and relationship, I am waiting for the light we cannot see. How will it be revealed?  The title is curious to me.

In this hemisphere we are moving quickly towards December 21, Winter Solstice. The long shadows of the darkness now subsume the light.  Each day grows shorter. We need light to live. But we also need the balance of darkness to heal, to rest, to cease all our insane activity and grow silent for a time. The earth renews. Light and new life grows in the darkness, often unobserved and unseen. Hidden for a season.

My bees, little light beings who orient themselves to the the sun god, have filled their homes with the stored light of flower’s nectar. They have grown sluggish and slow. Dormancy sets in. They need the slow dark. Their light becomes the pulse of their bodies generating heat in a glowing orb inside the hive.

It is a life metaphor I often forget. A cycle of darkness is a part of a healthy season of light. It is a balance. It allows new life to incubate and ferment. Under the cover of darkness, the light from a season past is captured and unimaginably reseeded.

And one day, like the bees, all the light we cannot see will burst forth and the miracle of photosynthesis will again rise.

And so we live on our own collected light for a season. Memories, images, words, loves that feed our light in this time of darkness.

And we watch for the light to return…

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