The owl of wisdom

Daily Reading, May 23

Recently when a nun in her mid-nineties sent me a note on my birthday, she quoted a line of Hegel: “The owl of wisdom flies in twilight,” and then said, “I like to think that as we get older we live in two twilights; the evening twilight of letting-go and the dawn of looking forward. In both, Christ is our Light.” This makes me think of “a kind of double vision in which we see both the light and the dark together and both sustain us,” words actually taken from a book significantly entitled Let Evening Come: Reflections on Aging.

Here is the giving up of the solace of certainty, for it means living with both/and. It is enjoying juxtaposition. It is embracing ambiguity. And if I recognize this poignant mix in my own inner landscape, ought I not let it shape my approach to the world around?

From To Pause at the Threshold: Reflections on Living on the Border by Esther de Waal. © 2001. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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