I sit, settling, dinner warm in my belly.
The dog sleeps, curled into a ball of old-fella-salt-and-pepper-fur, wrapped, one with his bed.
The only sound, the air purifier mightily purring, fills the air.
All is well.
All is quiet, as a moment of deep unusual ease settles around me.
I remember—winter solstice arrives tomorrow, along with the gift of a full moon and added celebration of meteor showers.
A winter trifecta.
The day with the fewest hours of sunlight approaches.
And right behind her, the light hovers, ready to return.
I sigh, and relax into that profoundly comforting thought—
The light hovers, ready to return.
How do we hold the darkness and know the light approaches?
How do we abide the fracture while relaxing into the beauty?
How do we honor the leaving, the severing, while opening into life-affirming blessings?
How do we honor the pain point while remembering it is the doorway to a richer, a deeper life?
How do we enter this new winter, remembering that the sun is returning to us?
All is inevitable, all is sacred— all pieces, all experiences, essential to each other and connected to the whole.
I completely understand this, except for 99% of the time, when I don’t.
What a trip, you guys—we know this, mostly, except when we don’t.
And when we don’t, that’s the practice! That’s the gift. That’s the opportunity, the moment to breathe and relax and lean toward the ease of remembering, without judging our human lapses.
As I sit in this profound transition of my life, this, my seventieth year, I find absolutely nothing else to do but to practice.
As I sit in this, my new world, watching my old self emerging into new, with a laughter not recognized, a tenderness unknown, I choose to bless what was, to relax into the awe of what is, and to surrender what might be.
And the journey, the inevitable journey of remembering.
Followed by the inevitable forgetting.
And returning again, as best I can, without judging myself, to remembering.
All is well.
Here are my prayers for our practice, for our entry into this wintertime, this time of darkness filled with approaching light, this time of festivities and of introspection:
May we honor our fear and hold it as sacred as our faith.
May we bless our forgetting and know that it is the doorway to remembering.
May we celebrate the pain, as best we can, and know that pleasure rests nearby.
May we relax with whatever we are given, as best we can, one breath at a time, one moment at a time.
May we pray for patience and tolerance, to abide our human condition.
May we give ourselves full permission to be exactly where we are.
And may we remember how blessed this moment truly is, no matter what is happening.
Oh, dear folks, I’m wishing you and yours a holiday season filled with presence, ease and joy. May this New Year be filled with grace.