For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, at least.
Without the dark, the light would be meaningless. Without the light, the dark would be endless. There is no better teacher of this lesson than our lovely, ancient, wounded planet, who spins her way along her path, her lifetime so much more than ours.
Today it is predicted to be fifty degrees here. Today it is hard not to feel grief for what we have done to our home, along with gratitude for her greatness.
Tonight we will light our candles and be thankful for the deer who bed down in our woods and the coyotes who share our paths, for the chickadees who stay with us through the winter and the owls who call through the night, for those who sit at our table with us and for the light and the dark that shape our lives.
Blessings to you all!
There is a place I know, a hilltop kept in great open fields, that feels like the top of the world. Not in terms of height, for it’s not much in elevation, but in the openness of the land, the completeness of the sky above. In Massachusetts, everything is bordered, by trees, mostly, by roads, and houses, and ocean.
This place, even with the boundaries of trees in the distance, feels boundless. You could lie in the grass for an entire day and watch the dragonflies and the swallows; you could stay through the night and watch the stars rise and fade. You would feel not the passage of time, but the great lazy loops of it, round and round.
This time of year, summer, is like that. There’s the sense that time moves not relentlessly forward, but in a circle of day and night. The only thing to tell you otherwise is the way, even now, that the light changes, the sun not making it over the pines in quite the same way. It is, I think, something only adults look for, and only because we are not wise enough to stay in the moment, instead always looking ahead to winter.