This morning, I was fascinated by the sunrise filtering through the bare trees scattering fragments of light and shadow everywhere to form a beautiful tapestry interconnecting everything it touched. The dark, chilly winter scene of a few minutes earlier was dispelled and the whole atmosphere was suffused in a gentle, spring sun revealing a scene pregnant with life. I could sense earth’s energy beginning to awaken on this special time, in the Celtic calendar,’Imbole’, which marks the crossing between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It is a time of promise of brighter days filled with life, hope and possibility.
At this time, too, we celebrate ‘The Presentation of Jesus’ when candles are brought to the church to be blessed to mark the Light of Christ in our midst. By virtue of our baptism, we have a mission to be luminous people who bring light and love where ever we tred. As in the early morning scene, there is interplay of light and shadow in all our lives, but, ‘light’, God’s gift to us, has the power to change our inner and outer landscape and bring about rebirth and renewal.
In these times of dark shadows, of global and ecological fragmentation, we are invited, with more urgency than ever to, “Arise, and shine like the sun, for the Glory of the Lord has risen upon us.” (Is.60:1) A smile, a prayer, a kind gesture, a decision to create zones of peace and relate to earth and to people with sensitivity and gentleness, can enhance a flickering flame and uplift more than we can ever realize. We are also encouraged by Nicolas Barré’s inspiring words: “God gives marvellous gifts of light and grace to the simple if they are humble and lowly in their own eyes.” Let us then trust in Jesus, our ‘Son-Light’ to lead the way as we continue a journey full of risks and without safe roads or clear maps.
“Let’s not dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in…” (Leonard Cohen)
Catherine O ‘Sullivan I.J. Millstreet, Co. Cork