It was eerie: emptiness discomfited me, gnarled at the crusts of my innards, and scraped barnacles from my imagination while the sun-drenched afternoon toasted new budding on the snowflake viburnum outside my study window.

No parents walking their kids home from the elementary school in the next block, no service trucks plying their trades, no deliveries from UPS or FedEx changing gears on our court, no tools whirring or hammering changes into the power lines or landscape.

As a solitary dog-walker trudged up the hill, her chest heaving, a creeping emptiness knifed my sense of life.

I sat in my wing-back chair, closed my eyes, and waited. I remained uneasy and surrendered. Yet, a new courage emboldened me to listen. Within the emptiness an uncanny sense of the Sacred emerged, a wisdom not found in human discourse or books. This was something else.

It hurt: one of the faces of grief.

Yet, a wise potter once said, “We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds what we want.”