Saturday was a day devoted to the light. It started on my morning walk as I considered the theme for my 8:30 a.m. yoga class. Each month the studio selects a theme and June’s is light. As much as I can, I try to weave the general theme into my specific intention for each class. As I walked, I thought of many possibilities, but what kept hovering in my mind was Gwen Van Kirk. It was the one year anniversary of her passing. All I could think about was her sweet family and how from the depth of grief and darkness they have managed to move forward into the light of their blessings. I ended up sharing their story with my yoga students as an example of how when times seem the darkest, if we reach for the light, it will be available to us.
I spent the rest of the day in a yoga workshop focused on embodying the light within our lives and ourselves. We talked about darkness and light, how they are both necessary in our lives. Seeds forming inside the pod require darkness before they come forth into the light. Once planted, they reside in the dark soil, reaching their roots into the earth for sustenance. Unless they inhabit the darkness, the stalks, leaves, and flowers won’t be able to reach for the sun and bloom. As the day unfolded with its own quiet beauty and light, I felt a deep appreciation for all of the luminous parts of my own life. From all the challenges I’ve had to face in the past few months, personally and with others, I could feel the light’s steady presence.
During our lunch break I went out to the car to check my phone messages. There was an email from Gwen’s dad. As it turned out, on the anniversary of the night when Gwen’s family last saw her alive, their identical twin baby girls were born. Camille Hope and Josephine Faith. Gwen’s middle name was Grace. Later as I looked over my notes from the day, a three-word phrase jumped out at me: “Timing is grace.” Gwen was grace and so are the babies. Their birth came at the very end of a year filled with deep sadness and loss, a year that in many respects must have felt very dark. Yet from it came two new gifts of light shining with life, perfectly timed with hope, faith, and grace.