The Gestation of Joy
The long span of being confined by Covid-19 has been like an entombment for many of us. I
offer the following to provide encouragement as we experience the layered, spiraling cycle
of life-death-rebirth, the ongoing process of inner transformation.
What happened in the tomb, that darkened space
between the Cross and the noiseless linens laid aside?
Who speaks to us of this inaudible obscurity?
No one. The secret of silent gestation is overlooked
in favor of the grand moment of resurrection. And yet,
a part of each life bears resemblance to that bleakness
in which a quiet turning from death to life unfolds.
A similar story of the unheard, the unspoken, the unfelt
breathes in the wintered bud preparing for blossom,
the caterpillar cells giving way to a monarch’s beauty,
the wonder of a human forming in a mother’s womb,
a sleeping seed awakening in the darkened soil.
Each turns slowly toward life, like the Beloved of the Soul
tethered by thickness of stone in the tomb’s seclusion.
There the Holy One awaited coming forth as all-abiding Spirit,
forever present, forever near, forever in love with us.
Who urges us to sit still, to be patient in the nurturing tomb
of darkness, to enter its enveloping silence with assurance?
Where do we seek steady courage when sadness, distress,
confusion, and flatness wall us in with airless depression?
How do we wait with a balance of acceptance and yearning,
relinquishment and action, hesitation and confidence?
The stones that block our light, whatever they might be,
let us stop shoving them aside. Give ourselves over
to the gestation required before hope’s fresh air unseals the tomb.
Do not hurry the soul’s metamorphosis. Trust in the maturation
of some essential growth. Remain confident. Keep focused
on the Risen One. Breathe in the possibility of some new joy,
for it hides in this very moment, readying itself to slip past the stone.
~ Prayer Seeds, Joyce Rupp. (Sorin Books)