Even underground, sunlight
finds the opals and fills them.
So much beauty embedded
in cavern walls, needing no one
to find it, no human eye to see,
waiting in perfect patience,
in due time, to be revealed. MCM
The painting is by John McEntyre and the poem by his wife, Marilyn. John and Marilyn have been friends and colleagues for many years. Marilyn led several online writing classes during COVID which helped me change my writing process — she discourages using an outline or having an endpoint in mind when beginning, and instead “write into the unknown.”
As I’ve followed this advice, I’ve found myself coming to surprising perspectives. I don’t know if the insight is there before I start seeking it, or it is formed as the search progresses. But there is “sunlight” “embedded” in us, and often we need patience, curiosity, and courage to find it. Maybe it’s through painting or writing. Maybe it’s on a long walk or during an extended conversation with a trusted friend. Or maybe it’s letting a sacred text or piece of music open our hearts and imagination to something new.
I’ve seen many people walk through times of darkness and find such light.
I worked at Hospice of Santa Barbara for 5 ½ years. When I told people where I worked, it was common for them to say, “Oh, that must be depressing.” But I would say it was not. Seeing people work through their grief to find some authentic resolution and a way forward was inspiring. One 15-year-old said: “Death is like a broken heart. It hurts and is sad but you get through it. Your heart is twice as strong.”
Solstice and the sacred stories of the season remind us that there are endless points of light waiting to be revealed in “due time.” As we face periods of uncertainty, may we trust that the light is there, safely residing in “cavern walls,” “waiting in perfect patience, in due time, to be revealed.”
John’s painting and Marilyn’s poem are used by permission. More information about Marilyn, her publications, her classes, and retreats can be found at https://www.marilynmcentyre.com; John’s work can be seen at https://mcentyreart.com.