The Darkest Night 

In response to something I shared on my timeline, a friend had the following response:

“Ya know what would be even better? If people would get over it and become united again like we were 8 years ago…….”

It sparked a lot of thought and great conversation, that deserves a wider audience than being hidden in our comment thread.

You may not know, but I moved back east from KS one month after September 11. It took us the better part of a week, between weather and my then-husband driving a U-Haul, while I had our animals in my car with me. But everywhere along the way we saw the best of our grieving nation. Flags everywhere. At rest areas and motels we found professional truck drivers willing to help guide us into parking spaces. I even experienced the serendipity of tuning to a new radio station somewhere in Illinois and hearing an interview with our own minister from the church home we had just left behind!

So yes, I agree with you that being united is wonderful. It’s our nature to turn toward one another in times of great grief and great joy.

Here’s the thing though:

It cannot be forced.

I shared a post from a friend the other day who wrote of her utter despair and fear.  She is one of literally millions of our fellow citizens who is frightened to her core by what has already been unleashed in the utter nastiness and divisiveness of the campaign.

To meet her fear and that of the millions like her with “get over it” is to add the insult of gross misunderstanding on top of systemic injustice.

I’m not saying that you or anyone is “to blame.”

What I am saying is we as a nation, like it or not, are in a dark night of the soul. We might as well do the work that this time demands of us, both individually and collectively, so that perhaps someday we can heal our divisions enough to remember that what unites us IS far stronger than what divides us.

My cousin then posted this incredible video by an Emerson student that helps explain it for us white women who may not understand fully why people can’t just “get over it already.”
Seems appropriate for Solstice, the longest darkness of the year.

We have skills and tools to navigate the darkness, if we remember to reach out for each other with compassion and openness.

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