The darkness, the depression, that dreadful feeling of emptiness and cautious hope that a period of waiting extracts from us may also be understood as a period when creative energy must quietly accumulate. Deep down where it is dark and moist, in the hidden place, the germ will sprout. Only in darkness will it take root. Darkness, so often seen as negative, is clearly necessary to fertility and hidden growth. A great energy is building and growing where we cannot see it. All of life seems silent and asleep before the creative breakthrough.
In myths, the fields must lie fallow and receptive before the corn goddess will allow the grain to grow again. In our own experience, any great work of art, any real relationship, certainly any healthy baby, needs a period of silent, undercover becoming. The creative process makes one, essentially pregnant. (Here All Dwell Free, Gertrud Mueller Nelson)
Perhaps these words would be more applicable in the Spring, when life is still encased in the dark and the dirt, when we wait for green and color and warmth to burst forth. But right now, in the Fall, as the days grow shorter and the darkness sets in, I can palpably feel the waiting…and I want to hope as if pregnant. What a powerful, poignant metaphor.
When pregnant there is an subject/object to which we attach our hope. We carry life within us. We nurture and care for ourselves – on behalf of what we will yet birth, yet see, yet hold, yet love. That’s harder to do when dealing with merely the metaphor – when waiting, when hoping; in a season of darkness. Darkness, so often seen as negative, is clearly necessary to fertility and hidden growth.
In the growing darkness of these Fall days, in the darkness of unknowing in my own heart, life, and circumstances, I want to feel fertile and pregnant – carrying life within me. I will wait. I will hope.