Saturday, 21 March 2015

of light and shadows

I think I know about the cycles of nature.  How the birds greet morning.  Where the moon rises and falls.  I watch trees grow leaves and daffodils bloom.  I pay attention to the coming and going of tides and how the air currents sound in trees with and without leaves.  In the past few years, this paying attention to nature's cycles has become my private spiritual practice--one that is really more about being aware than doing anything; it is a way of being not an act of doing.  I have known this way of being since I was a child, but school and culture and religion sort of beat it out of me.

As I sit and wait for the signs of the new moon to cross in front of the sun, I fill with giddiness about this moment.  This excitement fills my whole being; something rare is about to happen. I have felt this way before, mostly in spring and in autumn, when nature's treasures bloom and harvest.  It is the tangible, material things that matter. They focus our attention on something else while casting cyclical shadows of long light onto the soul.

When I step outside, I am surprised by how the light feels on my skin and how long shadows form on the grass. The air seems to have changed her movement, the temperature drops, and the birds seem to think it is morning again. I realize how little I really know about nature and her cycles. The natural world seems better equipped to read her signs.  I drag my children outside just as the moon falls upon the sun's face. I want them to feel the difference in the light.  They assure me they can but look at me strangely.  "Look at those long shadows," I tell them. Another strange look.

The difference between the spirit and soul is that the spirit is born of the soul. The spirit lives in the outer world, collecting images, experiences, and takes it back to the soul.  My giddiness is a spirit giddiness; I am collecting the polarized light from the solar eclipse, sending long shadows all the way down to my soul. 

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