Earth life is slow

We are creatures of Earth; our life is part of the life of the Earth, and we draw our nourishment from it just as plants and animals do. Earth life is slow; autumn and winter are as essential to it as spring and summer, and rest is as essential as motion.

-Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

It is winter, the days are dark, and nature does not offer up the comfort of warmth. But instead of complaining or decrying this, we can accept it as a part of the creative cycle.

Our bodies need rest. So do our minds. This time of year we can take more time for that by recognizing that everything has a time and place and season. Trust that you will progress and grow, when it is the right time. Spring brings energy, transition, a pushing outward. Winter brings quiet, inner reflection, an evening gathering with friends that is a natural response to the short days, and finally, sleep.

Let the bare trees of this season remind us that we are also needing to look at the bare facts of ourselves, the naked truth of who we are. That will be the starting point for all our love and all our work in the year to come.

Tuesday

 

When I forget milk
I go back to the corner store
Where the checkout
Girl’s mermaid tattoos wink
As she says “Have a nice day.”

Yesterday was early.
Water boiling, oatmeal in the throat.
Wheezing a tie,
Scraping the windshield,
Heavy briefcase race
Crawl to sit lifeless behind
A dividing wall.

But not today. Today
Is soul day.
Quiet day, empty day.
Out of the fecund silence
Comes frothy foaming
Canvas frosting. I may just
Eat what I paint.
To be without clothes
Is the gift of today.

To read about Tibetan Buddhism
And the way they believe
In serendipity and signs
Of the hidden unseen world.
Someone tried to move a sacred stone
And his son drowned upstream.

Tiredness and sleep are
Today’s welcome friends,
Come to help bloom
A dark water flower
Usually only seen
Under a pink sky.

©Venturing Unitarian 2016

 

A Dream of Autumn

A dream:

I am lying in a bed of golden leaves.

It is afternoon in Autumn. Gold light shines through a canopy above me. The bed is thick and soft, it seems made for me. I am resting after a long journey. Light, warmth and softness are all around me.

There is a child here, playing nearby. I am looking after him. An older woman walks up and says hello to the child. She quietly entertains him for awhile.

Eventually I feel the sun getting lower in the sky. I sadly tell the child it is almost time to go. But I want to linger there and feel the light, the carefree rest, and the sense of the child’s joy. I feel a sense of belonging.

The elements to this dream are listed in 10,000 Dreams Interpreted by Pamela Ball:

  • GOLD – wealth, probably not of money, but spirituality.
  • LIGHT – divine revelation, expressed in the dream as energy
  • LEAVES – assessing how growth has occurred or may occur now
  • AUTUMN – letting go, preserving good in a time that is ending, old age and the mellow restful feelings it brings
  • CHILD – inner child, playful innocence
  • OLD WOMAN – feminine, the anima, spontaneous and nurturing

Interpreting this dream, I would say I have arrived at a time when I will come into the fruits of a long period of spiritual work. I am 42 years old, and entering the second half of life, the time of autumn.

Being in the presence of the child and the woman is an interesting and, I feel, quite profound aspect of the dream. These are archetypal images. It is as though I am discovering anew the aspects of myself that are pure, childlike, and feminine. It could also be that placing myself within an environment of spiritual insight and discovery puts me in touch with the feeling of wealth, which in turn relaxes me and allows me to be more spontaneous and nurturing of others, especially children.

The bed of leaves made of gold, made for me, providing luxurious rest underscores the need for retreat, for rest so that I can access these animating forces in my life, this light and energy.

Caring for a child is significant in that my profession as a violin teacher is now about children. Specifically helping them through music to find joy and belonging, self-expression and confidence.

What does the sadness mean, at realizing the sun is setting? Is it that the end eventually must come, or is it that there are other aspects of my life that are ending? Perhaps the sense of childlike wonder and playfulness is transient, and a sense of responsibility calls me away from the scene of rest. Perhaps it is simply that most of my childhood is gone now, and while getting in touch with it is restorative, it is a temporary reprieve meant to allow me to return to the world.

The joy and belonging I felt in the dream are truly encouraging to me. They are something I have been searching for.

SONY DSC

Bed of Autumn