I woke up very early this morning to go out into the garden with my sick cat, Toby. It was still pitch dark. It had rained all day yesterday, and the ground was wet and a little treacherous for my stiff knees. The trees and plants were ghostly silhouettes, and it would still be some time before the birds would awaken to greet the dawn.
The thought occurred that it was still the lunar seventh month – or the Ghost Month, in my part of the world – and for one brief moment, fear made me hesitate to leave the sanctuary of my patio. But Toby wanted to go outside, so I took a breath and followed his lead, trusting that the angels would be around us.
At this hour, most of the world was still asleep. The nearby homes and flats in the distance were dark, and besides the sound of running water that the condo swimming pool made, there was utter silence and no apparent signs of life.
I looked up at the sky and saw the sliver of a gleaming moon and the faint glimmer of stars far, far away. All was quiet, and I felt all alone. After a while, the voice in my head that told me to fear the darkness and silence went still, and the quiet whisper of my soul came through:
“Do you hear that? It’s God breathing.”
And suddenly I was able to take a big, deep breath. My mind cleared and my heart opened. In the “creepy” darkness, in that “scary and lonely” silence, I felt the presence of God. And as I stood out there and breathed, I slowly felt my breathing synchronise with God’s.
For several minutes, I stood there, just breathing, looking up at the moon, the stars and the clouds in the night sky. And I had no fear of the darkness and silence, no uneasiness that I might have unwelcome “company” around me. In those moments, I understood that I was one with the Source of all things. I was reminded that darkness and light were just two sides of God’s face.
Just as light provides me the ability to clarify what I perceive through sight, darkness gives me the opportunity to set aside my reliance on the visible and to rely on the true sight of my spirit instead. As comfortable as I am with the noise and rhythm of life, it is often in silence and stillness that I hear God’s and my soul’s voice more clearly.
And so I just stood and breathed with God.
Then little by little, the sky began to lighten, and I heard the first calls of the birds as they awakened to celebrate the new day. In the quiet of the cool morning, the birdsong was music to my ears as I watched the lights slowly coming on in some of the nearby houses. The day had begun, and it held the promise of wonderful things that are up to me to notice, and in my power to create.
When all you can hear in your darkest hour is the sound of your own panicked breathing, may you – like me – be reminded to slow down, be still, and listen for the quiet, steady breath of God. And may you, like me, rediscover the core of your light and strength as you breathe in synchronicity with The All.