Yellow and white wild blooms
I insist remain nameless
I contemplate picking for you
to arrange in sill sunlit,
but I can’t do it;
I keep them rooted
but skim their scent
and a fallen one tuck
in a long, silky tress,
face tilted up,
b r e a t h i n g i n
in yellow floral dress;
the sun kisses shoulders,
and I sense your jealously
in our cottage
I hear the kettle whistling
cheerfully for me….
The holidays are always toughest for me. I hit my latest low the minute they “ended,” when I let it all out. Just too many inner truths surface and get ripped open that I like to keep neatly wrapped the rest of the year and stashed away in the closet… but I made it back. And I came back stronger than ever. Funny how it seems it needs to work that way; the lowest lows, not survived but surmounted, climbed, seem to bring us to the highest heights, reward us with the wings even, to fly. Without the lows, we can never truly experience, let alone appreciate, the highs, and I sure do love the highs. Would you give up both for a forever flatness?… I don’t think I could.
I did more than survive that last round, though the sirens lured me in again. This time, I remembered I was part mermaid and eventually high-tide-tailed it out of there. Boy, were those sirens ever surprised! I swam away; I want to naturally say back to the light, as I, like many, have fallen into favor with the analogy of darkness and light. One of my favorite song lines is, “If I could turn back the clock, I’d make sure the light defeated the dark” (Calum Scott). I can’t even type it without getting goosebumps. I am one who can put a song on repeat indefinitely and just stay forever in that powerful moment and zone. It does bring to mind how powerful that zone can be, and how we really do need to pay attention to what we have on repeat and also make sure that if we are playing a broken record, we don’t lose sight of the needle; my whole life was that metaphor for so long…
I would also like to defend darkness; not all darkness is bad. I strive to start every day in darkness; I simply must be up long before dawn. It’s my me time, my writing time. I keep the lights off, and my fingers gravitate like moths to the laptop light to begin their beautiful dance ritual, witnessed by the waning moonlight. The pup continues dozing beside me.
When it comes to natural darkness, let us also never forget, we are lovingly gifted the stars and moon, to guide us, to talk to, to dream upon, to comfort those scared of the dark. And like the lows, how can we appreciate the magnificent beauty of the waking morning colors if not for that contrasting black backdrop canvas? I feel I am always first in line to witness the sun rise, and I never take for granted that it does. To know the light will always faithfully and unconditionally return!…
People’s weather out there though… Sheesh! Work morale is sooooo low. All year this year. We are normally the undefeated champs when it comes to good vibes. The students too…they are zombies I cannot wake up. The other day, a gray and rainy one, I crossed paths with a former student in the grocery store parking lot. He exclaimed, “No way!!!” repeatedly at seeing me, face lit up like a thousand suns, as he got out of his car, as giddy as a toddler on Christmas morning, to hug me in the rain. That’s what I’m used to. Requited love, relationships, connections, making a difference, making memories to last a lifetime…all at my paying day job, my calling, my passion, my joy. We reminisced in the rain for a bit, no umbrellas. I felt every drop and soaked it up like a thirsty leaf in a drought. He said this encounter made his day (he was on his work break in his car). It made my year.
I refuse to succumb to the bug. We can blame the virus, that year before this one, sit around and complain and focus on the negative and keep injecting ourselves with daily self- and collective-pity, or we can just not. Masks cannot hide smiling eyes nor fully muffle the sounds of laughter. If we chose smiling and laughter. Just choose it. For a moment. An hour. A day. A week. No matter what. Stay in the light. Better yet, be the light. Ignite yourself first. You can use the blue within, the pilot light.
I once wrote about a revelation I had while on an airplane, that the sun is always shining above the storm clouds.
I think about that still and now. How many people are trapped in their moods and even life circumstances, how sad it is that they are not able to experience the sun from that perspective and position, how many years they may spend under those dreary gray or turbulent-storm clouds, how they forget, don’t realize, or simply lose hope that the sun is there and will inevitably return to their view, that they will again see the light and feel the warmth.
I am currently above the storm clouds, looking down, in a sense. I see those individuals, I see you, I see my past self. I think of ways I can reach them, reach you, reach my past self. I think of my gifts and talents and how I can use them for that purpose.
In that reflection after that flight, I wrote of still not fully finding my place or purpose. There is a new realization in me now, though, that tells me I am close. Perhaps we never truly feel soulfully satisfied because we are not meant to yet. Perhaps the purpose of this life as we know it is to get as close to our purpose as we can. Perhaps a higher power knows the results; perhaps this is a test, a challenge, a journey for the purpose of a journey, with unknown results. Perhaps we will amaze or disappoint our higher power. Perhaps the uneasiness many of us feel is an indication that we are off track, individually and collectively. Perhaps the more on course we are, the more peace we experience within.
I currently feel a new kind of serenity within myself. I have no idea where I’m headed, but I’ve slowed my stride and am simply enjoying basking in these moments. I used to feel many days like a dark cloud was always just behind me, following me. But I’m not below right now; I’m above. I am basking in the warmth, blowing cumulous-cloud balls like dandelion wishies. I may return to ground level soon, but now I have a knowing. And that changes everything.
I don’t know what’s beyond today. I don’t know what’s beyond this life. But I know no matter what your perspective or position, it’s not permanent. Dark clouds do not have targets, I don’t think. But even if they did, there is a constant above them: light. The sun is ever-present. You just have to choose to rise above it. To fly.
These days, these clouds, this rain, these storms–they will pass. Remember that. In the meantime, when it’s safe, go outside, put down the umbrella, and drink in that rain. Rainbows grace the skies only when the rain and sun meet. There is beauty in the rain and the in-between. Adjust your perspective and position if needed. Beauty is in there somewhere. You just have to want to find it, see it, feel it. Believe it.