Yesterday was hard. I keep thinking I’ve grieved the losses of right now enough. That my night wakings and nightmares will cease. But yesterday I woke up from a nightmare of watching a secret Baccalaureate mass happening, seeing the graduates walk down the center aisle with glee. And we weren’t invited even though the graduates were friends of my graduate. I was mad because they shouldn’t have had a mass: people would get sick! But I was more mad that my daughter didn’t get to walk down that center aisle.
So yesterday I started off with loss, and my center was nowhere to be found. I could tell you about my struggle to give my kids grace, but instead I want to tell you about how the day ended with grace handed to my family by a friend. Yes, it sounds like all ribbons and bows here. I assure you it is not. But this image: I’d like to share it with you.
One of my good friends asked if she could surprise us that evening, and would we be home? Yes, we’d be home. She came over at 9:30 and asked if our backyard was darker than the front yard. Yes, make your way to the backyard. Then we stood on our back porch and my friend stood on the cement slab below us. She pulled out two torches.
She lit the two torches and started a simple dance. Her arms made a strong circle, sometimes together, sometimes separate, but always with the lit torches lighting a path in the dark night sky. The fire made a sound as it hit the air. The green pine tree and basketball hoop lit up as the fire passed in front of them. Although I kept thinking about how great it would be to write about this, I finally settled in and watched the fire make circles, the fire an extension of her body, the dance an answer to my question, can good prevail?
Good sometimes prevails, or at least it answers the dark with light. My friend’s fire dance lasted long enough for me to let myself find her rhythm, to watch her circle her arms, one after another, with a lit torch in each hand. Fire to awaken me to the now, to bow down to the dark and the small lights that show us we can be strong enough to carry on.
When she finished, she said, “Happy Thursday in quarantine.”
Happy Friday in quarantine, my friends. I send you this lit torch of my love: carry on.