Stepping out of the shade

by Jill Schroder

When day comes, we step out of the shade…” is an excerpt from Amanda Gorman, the youth Poet Laureate’s contribution at the Biden-Harris inauguration. This phrase landed with me and then rippled out.

It does seem like we are stepping out of the shade now, in January. The days are getting longer, the light is getting stronger, the vaccines are coming now, the fears we lived with these last several months/years are retreating, at least to a significant degree.

And now there is transparency and decency in US leadership; now racism and equity issues are coming to the fore and being addressed at last; now environmental issues loom so large they cannot be ignored and are being addressed.

In the poem Amanda says ”There is always light“. Now, in this season and in our times, we notice the light seems like an uplifting reminder and appropriate for stepping out of the shade to refocus.

What are some ways we can take in and savor the light? I think of incredible dawn skies, sunrise and, of course, sunsets, my favourite time of day. A child’s smiling face, flowers in bloom, a candle flame. I think of friends and friendship, connections and open hearts. A recent Daily Om is called Friends. Good friends bring light to our lives, and it can be reciprocal as well — we light up each other’s lives these remaining Covid days, even if just by a phone call or a Zoom connection. 

Sunlight creating chlorophyll, creating green plants creating life. This gift is given no matter what. No deserving, no earning, no denying. There is always light. Praise and blessed be.

Here’s a quote from Marilynne Robinson I came across recently: “There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, everyone of them sufficient.” I love that, it lifts me up. And light is certainly one of my reasons. What are some ways you notice the light, focus on the light, relish and cultivate the light? I’d love to hear. We’re in this together!

Amanda went on to say, “For there is always light if we are only brave enough to see it, if we are only brave enough to be it.” Let us let that sink in, let us have the courage to see it and be it, in our own unique ways.

Once again, I’d like to remember Leonard Cohen‘s wonderful Anthem. “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”. So perfect in so many ways for our Covid times and the transition times from dark to light. Remember it’s the crack in everything where the light gets in.



  1. Your, Amanda’s, Marilynne’s and Leonard’s words lift my heart and I simply want to soar with the beautiful birds in Anthem! Can’t stop smiling! Thank you for this! Blessings, love, light and hope always…

    1. I just want to echo the heartfelt feelings and words of the previous commenters. Thank you so much Jill. Namaste.

    2. Thanks Rob and Lillian… your gifts to add light to the world are a source of inspiration to me. Blessings, appreciation and much love, Jill

  2. Inspiring and uplifting from first words to last, Jill.
    Thank you for your encouragement and example to focus on the beautiful, the spiritual, and the positive energy revealed in the humblest of expressions by other artists as well.
    I was moved by your words and those to which you referred us.

  3. Hi Jill – thank you for posting such an insightful and enlightening article about humanity’s need to find light where there is dark. Hope is a better diet than despair.

    1. Indeed, Paul…thanks for reading and commenting. And thanks for your ongoing, deep, important contributions to our various elder dialogues, and to the work in the world. Blessings, hugs, J

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