‘The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.’
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
In some sense, Tolkien captures my own walking around every day sense of renewal in these words, even if I understand them differently than he meant them. Who doesn’t look around the world, right now, in September in 2013 and not see how full of peril it is, not see the dark places–both big dark places and small dark places? And yet…
And yet, don’t we still encounter so much that is fair, that is beautiful, that is breath-taking, that leads us into experiences of transcendence? In other words, even though we can each list the peril and dark places in our lives, we have these other experiences that renew us from the inside out. There are days when walking into work, the incredible beauty of the morning sky fills me with wonder and a real, physical energy that seems eternal which my mind knows is only a few seconds long. I breathe that in and enter the building and face what the day brings. Grateful. So grateful.
It’s okay today to name your perils, name your dark places. It is also okay to open to the fair things that will present themselves to you. They are gifts of renewal.