January seems particularly dark this year. Despite the slowly lengthening days and the slivers of hope afforded by the earlier sunrises and later sunsets, it’s gloomy.
I’ve been counting and here where I live we’ve had one full day of sunshine since the early days of January. We’ve not been graced with the fluffy white brilliance of snow. Instead it’s been foggy, gray, drizzly. Day after day of iron clouds.
I feel like the weather is reflecting my dark sense of foreboding as the presidency here in the U.S. has changed hands and the grip of power solidifies into the hands of a few dark souls. As I read the news, my thoughts ricochet. I run from feeling aghast and appalled to at moments feeling weirdly smug — I knew this was coming. All in all it is a very separate, lonely feeling. Even as my immediate family share my political views, I no longer find comfort hashing through the same positions, stating the same abject disbelief at where we seem to find ourselves. Nothing is new. It’s just one long nightmare and I want to wake up.
The reactions of those around me seem similarly disparate. Some rail, some grieve, some hide in fear. The image that keeps coming to me is of some B-movie monster, a horrific yet buffoonish figure. So much of what is now purportedly the leadership of this country is just that — monstrous — and also no one’s ever seen anything quite like this. I feel like people are scattering and running in confusion. They are slinging arrows, Facebook posts and petitions, and watching them futilely clatter to the ground as the monster takes another swipe.
Last Saturday, January 21st, though, was a gloriously sunny day here. The sky stayed pristine the entire day and the air blew warm and welcoming as millions took to the streets to rise up together. Millions of beautiful people, voicing love and peaceful resistance, breathing inclusion. Women and men, immigrant and non-immigrant of every color and faith on the earth. I couldn’t help it, the tears started streaming down my face. I was reminded of what Martha Beck says “People don’t cry when they lose their hope. They cry when they get it back.”
I felt a surge of hope in that moment.
Since then I’ve been reaching out to others in my tribe who have felt the same way, sharing this great big concern and sharing this great big hope. Just as in the best of times, we share our fears and we share our hopes. Through them I’ve been slowly knitting myself back together and my own feelings of separateness are dissipating. I realize yet again why light always overcomes the dark. And as I write this post this morning, I look out my window and watch a few light patches of blue breaking through that broad mantle of gray.