Life Begins in the Dark

Tonight is the eve of the Solstice New Moon.

I am on fire. I am wild-eyed. I am life-making.

A candle dances beside me. My sweet faux fireplace burns low and red. My fragrant Jasmine tea steams as I pour it into a smooth cobalt Japanese mug. I am snuggled up in a nest of blankets and pillows surrounded by notes and journals and books and love conversations with dear friends. I am blessed. Cozy. Loved.


All life begins in the dark, literally and metaphysically, and since this Solstice New Moon is the darkest night of the year I feel ready to burst with all the life to come. The intensity of this December is not lost on me. I am ravished by her. I love her, and my arms are open to all that desires to be birthed through me. I am open to possibility, I am hungry and eager, filled with a feral hope I’ve not sensed in quite some time. 

I entered my 35th year with a gripping desire to do all thing differently, perhaps because I am now halfway to seventy, as I proclaimed to those who responded with much less enthusiasm than I. 

But truthfully? Urgency scorches the inside of my veins—now now now. My heart pulses with secret messages—live live live. Wake wake wake! Mortality drapes around me with an awareness that is both sharp and familiar. As a little girl I was terrified of death, of being “left behind” and alone. With great love and tenderness my father patiently endured hours of my terror, calming my heart with reassurances of hope, God's love, and peace.

As a result I have settled into an otherworldly kind of respect for my mortality; I am not afraid to age or die. Instead, I am afraid of running out of time. There is so much I want to do! I am afraid of wasting my life. I am afraid of dwindling it away wishing I were thinner or out of debt or dwelling in deep, soulful community somewhere where the mountain forests meet the wild sea. I am afraid of coming to the end of my human experience without embracing the fullness of my {now} living. I am not afraid to die; I resist dying full of untold stories, unlived adventures, unexpressed love, and not extracting every rare, sweet drop of nectar from this sacred life.

Life begins in the dark.

My first 30 years I was driven and drove myself hard, seeking love, approval, and worthiness in what I could do. And then I unraveled, collapsing into a messy place where I could only be—and found in my (Be)ing the deep love and desire of the Divine, the most high, the creator of all. I became grounded in my spirituality. I dove deep into liminal darkness. I healed, and healed some more. I awakened. All things are new. I own my task of living a wakened life and making my life a work of art.  And this new season of tender mercies finds me hungry to creatively weave my (be)ing and (do)ing together in the lush alchemy of living. 

I make-belief that there is enough time.  

Although I write about my journey through debt, healing the money wound and learning to realize abundance, right now my greatest resource (and the subject of borderline panic) is time. I am halfway to seventy and to be honest, I’m getting grabby. I see this in myself and take a deep breath. I must make belief that I have all the time I need to live the life I was born to live. Up until now, one of my greatest lifelong nemeses has been a paralyzing sense of futility … a sense of purposelessness and pointlessness which wraps crushing fingers around my throat until I can't breathe. Tonight I say enough. 

All things new.

I’ve given enough energy and time to the old ways but now I devote myself to what is new: living from a whole heart, reclaiming my passion and purpose, harnessing the time and energy I am healing to dive into true freedom and abundance, not through rote mantras but through the secret portal of gratitude. I have all the time I need; I am overflowing with it! 

This means doing all things differently—I will give my yeses from a pure heart; I will say yes only to those things which light me up inside. Abundant, lavish, rich with love. Alive, alive, alive.

I won’t rush through my days frantic and scrambling from one thing to the next. I invite contemplation and devotion into my work so that all of it is holy. 

I will trust my heart and my instinct. I will release that which no longer has purpose. 

And I’ve made a list for myself, a dream list of what this kind of living feels and looks like:


It’s a matter of fully embodying my truth.

I am loved. I am enough. I am whole. I am accepted. I am wanted. I have time. I have purpose. I trust. I trust. I trust. And from this moment on, I act as if.

I create as if. 

I live as if.

I love as if.

And I’m tearful and soft with a tender hope that feels just as familiar as it is new. It feels like being wrapped in the presence of a compassionate father quieting the heart of a terrified little girl. And I’ve ached for this feeling for a very long time.

Hillary McFarland