At Home With Darkness

Dark and getting darker—
nothing to do but to make of the body
a home for darkness...
...It is only terrifying until it becomes freedom.
— Into the Dark Again by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
You darkness from which I come,
I love you more than all the fires
— Rilke
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I remember the dark mornings I breathed out frost as I un-layered from the night and stepped into the chill. My feet were never warm, my heart was ice. My limbs were thin and my soul asleep. I was a skeleton of myself, aching bones and chattering teeth. It was a winter that lasted for over a decade. I thought the light of spring would never come.

Now, the maples release their final leaves as autumn descends into darkness. I instinctually gather layers of warmth, as if my closet isn’t full of boots and coats. As if I don’t have heat and my heart hasn’t thawed. My body remembers and braces for the cold.

I set up an altar space for healing rituals. Photos of beloveds who have passed away. Stones and water for gratitude and grief. Loosely bundled herbs and marigold offerings— scented smoke medicine from the garden. A single beeswax candle for lighting intentions, small prayers released as the wick slowly burns.

I want to feel at home with darkness, to love it more than fire, like Rilke. I want to remember the spark of discomfort and the way the darkness led me to freedom.