There is always light

« …For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it; if only we’re brave enough to be it. »

Amanda Gorman, at the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris
River Ouse winter sunset, by Jeremy Timm

This week, I « went » to the webcast of a funeral of a friend, who died far too young, leaving his teenaged daughter and wife behind. It was of course a really sad occasion, but it was also marked by a kind of indefatigable faith, hope and love. His daughter managed to speak so well and she reminded me so much of her Dad, with her courage and her naming of that faith, hope and love as the greatest gift her Dad had given her, and the most important thing now. She was like a blazing light. As Amanda Gorman was like a blazing light reading her poem at the Presidential Inauguration. So today, in the midst of so much anguish across the world, I think it’s not the trite platitude it might seem to be to say there is always light.

I met some other young women the other day, too, at an online community dialogue, facilitated by women. The topic of our dialogue was Covid-19 and the divisions, struggles and positive things that are emerging in our local communities because of it. During the call, one young woman talked about how she’d been made redundant due to Covid, then had applied for a Masters degree, and begun it only to have to immediately relocate back to her parents’ place to study for it online. She talked about her struggles with anxiety and with leaving the house, and how she hadn’t left the house as a result. Then she told us how older relatives and friends of her parents kept blaming her and her contemporaries for causing the spread of Covid, even though she hadn’t left the house. She was justifiably angry. But by the end of the dialogue, she had decided she would post real facts about Covid on her Facebook page, knowing that a lot of her parents’ friends might see it, and they might challenge some of the « fake news » about the pandemic they’d been talking about.

These brilliant young women, like Amanda Gorman, like Greta Thunberg like my friend’s daughter at her Dad’s funeral and like so many of the young women I met on my world trip in 2019, bring me hope. Let’s keep listening to them, keep amplifying their voices and retelling their stories. « There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it; if only we’re brave enough to be it. »

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