“Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”
When I was a kid my bedroom was up in the attic of our house. For a teenage boy it was like having my own apartment with a fully stocked refrigerator and cook on the first floor (that would be the kitchen and my mother). The greatest thing about my bedroom was that there were no windows in it except for the one at the top of the stairs outside my bedroom door. Anytime of the day, I could close my door and my bedroom would be black with one small exception, the sunlight creeping through the crack underneath the door or through the door frame.
For those of you that don’t remember your teenage years or if you never raised teenage children, sleep is probably the number one hobby for most of them. I know it was for me, and for my oldest child as well. In my dark bedroom it was possible for me to sleep well into the day and if I put a towel at the base of my door to extinguish that damn light I could sleep until A) I got hungry or B) my Mother yelled at me to get out of bed. Typically option B occurred before option A came into play just as it did for my oldest child later in life.
I remember as a kid, sprawled out on my bed under a warm blanket in that dark room how detached I was from the rest of the universe. The world buzzed with activity outside my door while I remained sheltered in a warm dark cocoon of my own making. But that damn light wouldn’t go away, and even with a towel under the door the sun would eventually find that perfect spot in the stairwell window filling all the cracks in the door frame with light.
Several years ago I hit a low spot in my life. I wanted nothing more than to go back to my old bedroom and spend the rest of my days in that dark room. I thought that hiding, away from the light would numb the pain and dim the spotlight shining on me. But the lights in my life, my family, wouldn’t allow it. They found my cracks and used them against me. Cracks of love and compassion. Cracks of strength and will. Their light warmed me, encouraged me and moved me forward one small step at a time. Today I am thankful for their persistent efforts, thankful their light stood by me as all the other lights, those that I once called my “friends” dimmed before me.
There is nothing solid in life, light can penetrate us all. We can’t hide in the darkness forever. Eventually we all get hungry for something more or our mothers will yell at us.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu