To go into the dark with a light
is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark,
go without sight.
that the dark too
blooms and sings
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
~ Wendell Berry
Frank recently posted about Tides (full disclosure: I collaborated with him on this post), and his post has had me thinking a lot about tides and the ebb and flow of water and life. The ebb and flow of blogging has come to mind, too. I feel as though I’m going out with the tide, traveling elsewhere for a little while before coming back in. Or perhaps it’s slack tide, that period between the turning from high to low or low to high tide, when the water is still for just a few moments. Whatever the case, I’ve lost my blogging mojo and might be taking a break. I went with the word “might” because of how the brain works. As soon as I say, “I’m taking a break,” my brain will respond with, “Oh no, no, no. There is so much to write about! And there are so many wonderful blogs to visit!! Not yet, not yet.” So, as things go, I might not be taking a break. We’ll see.
Merry Solstice to you! It’s gray and foggy this morning as I put together this post, the sunrise hidden behind the clouds. On Friday, intending to post something on Saturday, I wrote this:
Sunrise was quiet and beautiful this morning. Hints of pink and orange spreading across the sky. One crow cawing. I don’t know where his friends and family were. Perhaps they were smart enough to wait for it to warm up a little before taking to the sky. Even Lloyd’s rooster was silent. There was a thin layer of ice on the top of the pond, frost on the lawn and in the meadow. Ice and frost reflected back the pink and orange of the sky. The sky-colors moved in all directions as the morning grew brighter.
As the Solstice approaches, the sun has gradually moved across the horizon and she now rises behind the trees at the back of the pond. I’ve always found it interesting to follow the sunrise and sunset, to see where the sun would rise and land. The angle of the light changes with the movement and it is, perhaps, that angle that changes the color of the light. It seems oddly warmer in winter. Certainly more colorful.
I have been contemplating and pondering and wondering about my word or theme for the next year. Today is the day I would usually announce it in some way, even if the announcement is entirely for myself. I’ve been going around and around. Bones was the first word to come up and it seemed full of all sorts of interesting possibilities. I was fascinated (am still fascinated) with the anatomy portion of yoga teacher training. I could spend the year with the anatomy coloring book going over the bones of the body. The aim would be not to memorize but to get in touch with my own bones. There is so much to learn, just there.
Another word has raised its head:
In case that isn’t clear enough to read:
Milk Thistle: Forgiveness
Life has taught you to protect yourself, but sometimes you end up hurting yourself. Milk Thistle helps you to let go, through the power of forgiveness, of all the self-imposed restrictions and defensive armor that is making it hard for you to open and receive all the love and abundance the universe has flowing toward you.
~ Lisa Estabrook, Soulflower Plant Spirit Oracle Deck
It’s a pretty card, isn’t it? All of the cards I’ve seen so far in this deck are pretty (my daughter-in-law gave me the deck as a gift). Milk Thistle and Forgiveness are interesting choices for a wide range of reasons.
I first became aware of thistle during a visit to Scotland. Funny how I had to go far away to see something that grew near where I lived. Sometimes that’s the way of things. If interested, you can read a quick bit about thistle and its connection to Scotland here. I began to notice thistle after we returned. We were in southeast Ohio (Ohio Appalachia) at the time. When we moved to northeast Ohio, I saw it on my walks during the summer and fall, growing at the edges of the fields. The birds brought some to us in the area we planted and called the wildflower field. Most of it was Canadian Thistle, but we did have some Milk Thistle as well. Thistle attracted birds and butterflies so we didn’t do anything about it. Just let it grow as it would. It was in a space where we could afford to do that without worries.
We have talked, subtly, about forgiveness in Gita class. More specifically, about self-forgiveness. However, I can see how this word will create a spiral, moving in and out, from the personal (self-forgiveness) to outer relationships, from the small picture to the bigger picture. Or if you prefer the tides I started with, it is a word that I believe will ebb and flow, that will have high tides, low tides, and maybe even slack tides.
Good nature and good sense must ever join
To err is human, to forgive, divine.
~ Alexander Pope
I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.
~ Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
The third thing to pop up was more of a theme than a word. Don’t be a jerk is the blunt version. The nicer way to put it is be kind or speak the good words. Speak the good words, you might recall, has been part of the teachings for The Art of Self Care (which, by the way, is open for registration, if you’re interested, and it starts in January). I will be participating in the Art of Self Care again because it’s good stuff so be kind or speak the good words is already built in to the beginning of my year. Still, it might not hurt to reinforce it. The pandemic and isolation make me not so kind at times, and that not-so-kind gets thrown at someone I love dearly. I realize this is probably true for many of us, that we snap from time to time. However, it would be better all around, for everyone, if I adhere to the motto of Don’t be a jerk. Being a jerk only adds to the overall stress.
So, the question of the day is: Which word will it be? Well, I don’t know. Perhaps it doesn’t matter. Perhaps the thing to do is to go with whatever comes up at any given time and see where that leads.
I reckon that’s enough from me for this week’s meander. Thank you so much for visiting with me. Rumor has it that there is more rain in the forecast for this evening so I’m not sure it’s worth the trip out to the Point. Not that it’s very far, but it will be chilly and wet. How about we meet out at the dock? That will give us a good walk through the woods. We can stop to feed the birds. I’ve been leaving a little food out there every day for the birds and squirrels that might not have discovered the feeders yet. Sunset is scheduled for 4:47 PM.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind. Or, as my mind likes to put it lately, don’t be a jerk. ♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,656) A misty fog, hanging in the trees, softening up the landscape. 1,657) Beethoven, my mockingbird friend, has been coming out to see me again. I don’t know what he does throughout the summer. Perhaps he’s busy with other friends during the warmer months. 1,658) Fish tacos and rice for lunch. 1,659) Skordalia, a Greek dip made with mashed potatoes and plenty of garlic. I made it for our lunch/dinner yesterday. M and I will probably have garlic breath forever, but it was so good. 1,660) The Winter Solstice and the start of a new year.