The sun is setting on the old year. Because of less humidity and little pollution the winter sky provides the most vibrant colors. Seeing such a painting night after night offers color to what has been a muted if not colorless year. My eyes sting with tears not so much from what wasn’t this Christmas but the frigid air that has frozen my very soul. It’s the traditions that make this festival so rich…the concerts, carols, candles, and mostly the wonder filled smiles on children’s faces that say: I believe. Gradually the sun begins to sink beyond the horizon and I bid today farewell. But not before I give thanks for the color that lights the sky only to remind me that in time. the black and white of this pandemic world will turn Technicolor. I think being made to live this simpler and quiet life I am learning what my mother used to tell me… “not to be too disappointed in happenings and be more accepting of things that happen out of my control.”
“For a few days, once a year, the atrophied souls of the grown-ups are filled with a spirit that inspires the wisdom of fools and children.” – Michael Harrison
I awaken slowly on this day before Christmas and let the day come to me. With no children coming home and few preparations waiting to be accomplished, I am called to walk the Labyrinth. It has become a tradition of mine (especially at the Winter and Summer Solstice) to follow my soul as it leads to my heart.
Walking on the tiny path is a slow and steady business…hurrying the journey means falling off the path. To get back on track means returning to the beginning and starting all over again—not a bad thing as I am made to make sense of last years accidents, mistakes, and diversions.
I frequently hum as I walk…today its the Simon and Garfunkel tune that makes so much sense to one who thrives in the fast lane… Slow down you move to fast, you need o make the moment last…skipping down the cobblestones, looking for fun and feeling groovy.
The future continues to be a moving target completely unpredictable like the past. Why not enjoy the present instead of hurrying through it.
The Quakers have a saying: Way Will Open. Concentration becomes key when walking the path and I all but forgot where I was on the trail until I found myself smack dab in the center…feeling a self again. The child in me needed time to let the adult take over. And the next day dawns.
When I was a little girl I dreamed of a world where everyone I knew would live next door. Today that wish is stronger than ever. I have a chronic longing for togetherness. Never has it been more obvious how important relationship is, especially as its main ingredient is reciprocity. Sharing feelings, being known by another creates a belonging that makes isolation more bearable.The psychotherapist, Jean Shinoda Bolen believes that when there are a million circles of women world wide, our culture will go from being patriarchal to matriarchal. My circles these days exist across the land…not in person but by telephone. Still, women make do. Each connection gives me a little more of my power back. In no time my self is affirmed and my energy raised. Here’s to staying connected.
Today’s meandering was difficult. High winds and thick sand made my usual foray arduous. Still, I came upon an unlocked fisherman’s shack just when I sought relief. “I find, I do not seek,” said Pablo Picasso. And so it is. Each day has found me and with it a lesson or two, Now I need to ponder the lessons so far and let them become me and my daily life. Day One: Stretch toward something new. Day Two: Seek the light. Day Three: Begin to find and use blank spaces. Day Four: Day by day work to become lighter. Day Five: Trust that my fog will lift and be available when it does. Day Six: What in my life is outlived and prepare to let it go. I will be playing with some of my ideas during the next week, and see where it leads. I can tell you that already I have risen above my funk simply because I have taken time for me and given my thoughts the concentration it deserves. And thanks for some of your wonderful comments.
Tis the season to be jolly…but not this year. With COVID keeping family away, concerts cancelled, and traditional gatherings on hold, I only have my grandmother’s advice to find a way through such a bland time. She was a noble lady n a strained marriage with two children to raise during another depressing era in American history. Her Wisdom:When a big sorrow cuts your life in two it is well to muster little joys to aid and distract you while the hurt heals. As the hands toil so is the spirit raised above the troubled motions of the mind.
I’m sitting beside a sculpture of trash—all objects left behind by beach goers. As I gaze at all that is no longer useful, I begin to wonder what in my life, material or otherwise, has outlived its purpose or usefulness. There are friends who have become just acquaintances; dreams that have never materialized; life styles that have run their course; values that have become meaningless. What a relief to eliminate that which no longer suits me and remove the yoke from around my neck. All things have a beginning and an end. I leave the beach today lighter than when I arrived.
My mentor, Joan Erikson taught me to love the fog. “The secrets it holds and the way it wraps around one like a cape allows for deep feelings to take hold,” she explained, as we pushed through a pea soup fog at a nearby beach. I am hoping that my dormant emotions from months of non-participation with anyone or anything will soon begin to melt, just as the fog gives way to clarity.
WOW! So this is what I’ve not only thought but what I have been feeling. A heaviness has covered up most of my life. Much had disappeared beneath the surface. I can’t dig my way out of this existence but I know that the sands of time are moveable. Spring winds will come and nature will remove the bondage.
Low tide beaches make me feel smug. No one but me has ever walked here at least during this particular tide. I see the place as a blank canvas upon which to paint or write a new story. Like now, having been holed up alone without much reciprocity, what is offered instead are my fresh thoughts. I surprise myself as I kneel near the shoreline and feel as though I have entered a sanctuary where blessings can be received and given.