The longest night of darkness has passed, and we begin again the cycle of new light that begins at winter solstice. The seasons pass quickly: leaves falling in autumn, cold and rainy days, and then the spring will come, quickly, also. When summer, that season of the longest days, is here, I love the light and I love to sit on the green grass, to feel my body part of the earth, to smell the fresh green of my carpet and the blossoms encircling. Each season is beautiful in its own way.
Now that I have entered the wisdom years, I remember other times of my life. I remember those days and months, and even years, of young uncertainty. I remember those beloved ones who have been gone, a long, long time. I remember the dark years of midlife, when the uncertainty returned. I remember, and still, I have the foolish mind to long for times that are gone, that have gone, a long, long – long – time ago. I remember events that have shaped my life. Sometimes I choose to look into those events and times again, looking more carefully, from a distance, a distance in time. I can see my life as seasons, also.
Life passes like the clouds that drift across the sky. One summer afternoon when I was 20, my boyfriend and I lay on the grass on a hill in a city park, and we watched the cumulus clouds of the Midwest move across the sky. We named the creatures we saw in the clouds. We laughed. We imagined. Still, the clouds moved across the sky, driven by winds that could not be seen, yet creating the images we were graced with seeing, then disappearing as new images appeared on our sky-screen.
Our consciousness is the sky – never ending, without end. Events, people, even the clouds drift across our consciousness. Sometimes, we stick to an event or a person, or they stick to us, and we are not as free as we drift across consciousness. We know ourselves to be dragged down by the weight – the weight of old emotions, the weight of tears that have not yet been cried, the weight of anger that will not go away. Still, consciousness stands as a backdrop to these passing emotions, the tears, anger. Consciousness holds it all.
My hope for you, in this season of darkness that is already, in this moment, giving way to longer days, warmer days, is that you will see the sky. My hope is that, as heavy and as grief-stricken as this moment may be for you, you know its passing quality. See the space between one thought and another, listen for the silence.