At sunset and sunrise, the quality of light reaches its dramatic pinnacle—not at midday when the sun is high and bright, and the shadows meager. How brilliantly that is shown in this backlit tree in my neighborhood. This quality of light is sought by painters and poets, not only for its beauty of splendid contrasts, but, I think, because it reminds us of the human condition. Like counterpoint in music, our lives are mélanges of light and dark. Isn’t it at difficult, even impossible moments, that humans reach their own pinnacles? Schindler’s List, for example. Or someone who rushes into a burning inferno to save a stranger. Or, on a smaller scale . . . someone who shows compassion to one who has been unkind to them in the past.
In both times of ease and times of trouble, it’s useful to remember that we must hold both the light and the dark, and hope for beauty. Let’s hope we can be be like this tree in the splendor of its bearing and hold ourselves aloft and mighty, for whatever comes.
LORE OF THE BELL:
Embrace the contradictions of life and the bells will ring