We have been invited.
We have been given the rules.
We are now asked to contemplate.
Such a loaded word. So much baggage has been packed on those few letters throughout the years.
But it is the one I consider as I walk down past three houses then turn left down the path to the lake. Another left finds a smaller path hidden among the brambles and bushes. A small strip of packed Georgia red clay leading from the bright sunlight into the dark, damp woods.
It’s appropriate that I enter into the dark from the light. These past few days I have considered the words, “…gazing with faith, hope, and love…” as I work my way through a mourning period at the passing of a dear family member this past week.
How do I observe with a mind and soul full of grief? With tears flowing as memories of a life lived flood my being?
And yet this is exactly the time that Barkat says that contemplation can make itself known. It comes not through light or “effort but through darkness.” I did not understand a week ago those words. They bounced around my mind tumbling as pebbles in stream searching for a resting place but the current to strong to allow for any meaning.
And then death arrived one morning and slowly the current began to slow. Even in the midst of tears. One event and understanding begins. Contemplation, observation, begins to occur in the darkness. And I found that L.L.’s words are true, “Grace can drift in with the night.”
So I walk quietly down the path from afternoon light into the dark of the woods to find a fallen oak where I sit and observe. See. Feel. Contemplate the shafts of light that penetrate the forest canopy and reach the leaf littered floor as the light of grace does the same to a grieving soul.