Since Thursday is a class day, I set the alarm for 5:45 a.m. (I know, I know--some of you think that's sleeping in). Anyway, I bounded out of bed--really--and very soon set about walking the dog around the block. At that time of the morning, now in November, it is still quite dark. I found myself walking along, going from light to light.
Our neighborhood only has a few street lights--and none of those is on our actual street. We have a pole light, and leave it on all night every night. It is one of the few spots of light on our street. The trip around the block can be marked by watching for each light, and then the final destination light of our pole light.
This morning's walk struck me as a kind of metaphor for life. In some ways, we all proceed from light to light. Of course, we pass through dark times--we have all had them. And even in the middle of that darkness, we are looking, hoping for the light.
I suspect my affinity for light just now is heightened by some minor eye surgery I recently had. While not major surgery, it did require that for a day, I have my damaged eye sheathed by an eye patch. What an inconvenience. I really minded my sudden monocular vision. It is nearly impossible to read for any extent with only one eye. And, of course, anything requiring depth perception is out of the question. I couldn't wait to get that patch off--to reclaim full light.
One of my favorite hymns celebrates the power of light. Written by John Henry Cardinal Newman, the words were inspired by his being unable to get home in an age of sailing when his ship was becalmed. He was frustrated and sat down and wrote out the first verse.
Occasionally, our church choir sings this hymn as its benedictory piece. It is a lovely quiet plea for the light.
No wonder that light symbolizes guidance and safe-keeping. Go from light to light.