The Transformational “Slough of Despond”

I first came across sloughs in my mid-thirties as I traveled around northern California; ;these small, muddy areas were often labelled with signs which simply read “SLOUGH.” (According to an online dictionary, a slough is “an area of soft, muddy ground; swamp or swamplike region.”) For some reason, I began calling my moments of despair the “slough of despond” which, whenever I thought of it, tended t pull me immediately out of the despair into a lighter state; in fact, it often got me laughing out loud because of how ridiculous it sounded. It occurs to me now that this was an interesting intuitive understanding on my part, as sloughs are exactly the kind of murky “shadow” realm where one is likely to find gold and pearls. What do you find in your “slough of despond” when you look more deeply?

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