Dawn on our Darkness: How is it Possible?

The yellow tulip in the room’s warmth opens.

Can I say it, and not seem to taunt

all who live in torment? Believe it, yet

remain aware of the world’s anguish?

But it’s so: a caravan arrives constantly

out of desert dust, laden

with gift beyond gift, beyond reason.

Item: a yellow tulip
opens; at its center
a star of greenish indigo,
a subtle wash of ink
at the base of each of
six large petals.
The black stamens
are dotted with white.
At the core, the ovary,
applegreen fullness
tapering to proffer—sheltered
in the wide cup of primary
yellow—its triune stigma, clove
of green and gold.

That’s one, at nightfall of a day which brought

a dozen treasures, exotic surprises, landscapes,

music, words, acts of friendship, all of them wrapped

in mysterious silk, each unique.

How is it possible?

The yellow tulip in the room’s warmth opens.
~Denise Levertov “A Yellow Tulip” from Sands of the Well

I feel like I’m constantly aware of the world’s anguish, reminded in headlines, and radio news updates. The knowledge of others’ grief and mourning, their losses and struggles can be overwhelming. This world is a darkened place of pain and tears for so many, so much of the time.

So who am I to write of a moment of incredible encouragement and beauty, to post pictures of the latest masterpiece painted through sunrise and sunset, to search out and share the gifts that exist all around me – while people are suffering?

We were not created to wallow in anguish – yet here we are, trying to every way to climb our way out of the mess.

I only know this Advent promise: I am but one of countless witnesses to the dawn which has been sent to diminish and overwhelm our darkest times. I seek an oasis of restoration in the desert dust that comprise our days.

I cannot turn away from the gifts laid at my feet — they are as unexpected and awe-inspiring as the angel chorus must have been to lonely shepherds that glorious night. Suddenly, for those isolated people, nothing was the same ever again.

How is it possible?

So too, I open: waiting, watching, longing for the glory.
Nothing will be the same, ever again.

This year’s Advent theme “Dawn on our Darkness” is taken from this 19th century Christmas hymn.

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
dawn on our darkness and lend us your aid.
Star of the east, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.
~Reginald Heber -from “Brightest and Best”


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One thought on “Dawn on our Darkness: How is it Possible?

  1. He is the source of all beautiful gifts and His glory shines through…thanks for opening these gifts and sharing with a hurting world…we are made for something better!

    Liked by 1 person

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