Waiting for the Light

Postcards from Acadia Series

Sep 15 2014 107

My husband and I get up at 4:30 AM today, dress in a rush and drive away in a hurry. We get coffee on the way – the tiny General Store in Hulls Cove opens at 5 AM and oh, how grateful we are for that, how tenderly we hold our coffee cups. Our destination is Cadillac Mountain. The drive is short as we are staying close to the National Park and the mountain is not very far from the park entrance. We reach the top, park, take a deep breath and leave the car.

It’s windy, brutally cold, breathtaking. The darkness is almost complete, only pierced by car lights as great many are coming to Cadillac. I am wearing several layers, my old fleece coat and a scarf and a windbreaker that thankfully has a hood – but I feel violently under-equipped for our expedition. My husband bravely runs into the windy darkness, squeezing a camera. I am not capable of heroism of this magnitude and stay close to the car; I am popping out sporadically to see and take pictures and pathetically run back for warmth and hot coffee.

…People continue to arrive; as a little light colors the sky, the splendor of what’s right in front of my eyes strikes me: tens of dark figures spread out on the mountain, seeking a rock to sit on, or simply a small special space to wait for the sun in. The wind is so strong that my hands shake and the pictures come out a bit blurry but I frantically continue to snap one after another, determined to capture this incredible image; people standing in line to see the light. Somehow, this seems important.

I sense something magical in so many gathering in the dark and the cold and waiting patiently for the sun to appear; oh, the poetry of anticipation…. The eternal need and hope for light. I suddenly remember waiting for the light during Easter Vigil: remember the service in the dark, the singing in the dark, the anticipation… and then the sudden burst of a little flame.

Our faith is the anticipation of light. And sometimes, as magnificent as the light is, it’s the anticipation that’s the most beautiful and the most glorious part.

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