Meg Buerkel Hunn, Advisory Council Chair

Nov 17, 2023 | Experiences

Just the other day, my daughter’s piano teacher lamented about the growing darkness – and how this time of year, especially after the clocks change, makes her want to ‘hibernate.’  

Indeed, as the days get cooler and daylight shrinks there is a feeling all around of slowing down, like a big tired sigh… For many of us, the gardens have been ‘put to bed,’ and hopefully the flowers and fruits of our labor have been good and gathered and enjoyed, eaten, and/or preserved by now.  We can rest (hibernate) for a time, at least until the holiday busy-ness begins.

This year this darkening season of rest has been further shadowed by world events – my heart hurts and my hope falters when I consider the battles in the Holy Land, the continued war in the Ukraine, the senseless killings of innocent people in our nation and around the world, the changing climate here and everywhere, and more…  

I wish I had power to address these issues (even just ONE of them) in a meaningful, substantial, successful way.  Alas, I do not.  And when I focus too much on my individual inability to change this world, I lose hope.  

The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

When I listen carefully, my garden echoes his words.  There I learn, season after season, that this darkness will become spring, that seeds buried out of sight possess life and goodness and beauty, that patience is necessary, that things aren’t always what they seem.  

When I listen, my faltering hope takes root.  The pain and suffering are all still there, but I have the power to live with the hope that “is nothing less and nothing more than an insistent orientation of my life towards the world I want to live in.” (Krysta Tippett, On Being newsletter, 10/28/23). This season, may we, like sprouts growing through darkness toward the sun, orient our lives and labors towards the world we want to live in.  

~ Meg