Darkness overcomes me. Black as ink, not even a hand in front of my face is visible. I am surrounded. I am afraid of the absence of light. My heart pounds. I grasp and claw, until I realize it is futile to fight the black night of the soul. I have no control. I have no say. I am at its mercy. I freeze like a statue. Waiting. Trembling. Surrendered to its grip. Knowing there is no way out, of my own making. I resist the urge to run. It would only make things worse. Running in the dark is more dangerous than the dark itself. Unseen obstacles hide in the dark. They wait to grab me, to slap me, to trip me up. The safest way is to stand or kneel or curl up, and wait. Make myself small. Like a baby in utero. I can hear my own heart beating in my ears. I am blind. I can see no way forward, or back. Fear runs down my face in the form of tears. My heart feels ripped from my chest. It is a gaping wound. I cry out to the silence. I feel nothing and everything. I know nothing. I can only wait. Alone. In the darkness.
My eyes play tricks on me. Charcoal is lighter than black. I blink. Again, and again. I strain, only to see nothing. Still nothing. Fear turns to curiosity. Am I imagining things? Could it be? I still feel the darkness clawing me. Pulling me. Trying to take me out. The struggle is gone. I have quit the fight. It is no use. But I also feel something else. Foreign but familiar. A pull. Maybe a sliver. I fumble to my knees. I kneel in silence. Still silence. Something is different. Gray now. No longer black. I am sure of it. Dare I be sure of it? I fear certainty. My imagination plays tricks sometimes. I quake at the word gray. Gray means change. Gray means new. Gray is as scary as black. My heart thumps. No longer shredded. Just steady thumps of… What? Anticipation? Amidst the gray, there is expectation. Something is happening. I don’t know what.
Shifting shadows. There are only shadows if there is light present, right? The gray is lighter now. I dare not believe it. I hold back. I want to investigate, but I am still frozen in place. My eyes are open wide. Watching. Seeing. Pink. Pale and barely there. Could it be true? The dark night of the soul, fading? I am full alert now. I can see what surrounds me. A completely different landscape. Nothing has changed but everything is different. The dawn is breaking. The pink is deep. The gray lightens to purple. There is magnificent color. Glorious blushing. Light in all its glory suddenly peeks out. I recognize hope when I see it on the horizon. The darkness is broken and transformed into day. I thought hope was extinct. My tears are grateful ones. My heart rises in excitement to see its old friend. I breathe deeply and take it in. I drink thirstily from the well. I try to saturate myself. I bathe in it. I am weary, from my time in the darkness. I bask to absorb its strength. Ever so slowly, I begin to move. Still tentative in my steps. Still cautious to trust. But hope beckons to me. Calls me to follow. Infuses me. The remaining shadows bow to the light. Like a vapor, they disappear. I can see clearly now. My vision is restored. Hope wins…again.