It's just plain dark these days. We can't escape it, the short days return year after year, right on cue. I realized this morning that I'm learning to accept and appreciate cycles when I look at life through my graduate studies lens. I just wrote a final reflection paper for a class and put a few words to this idea.
In so many ways it’s felt like running circles for three months and I’m right where I started, we’re right where we started. Or not. I think back to my professor's comment in our first residency as he held up our text book and asked us to consider that a re-read is not a repeated experience. Each time we crack the cover open we engage with the words in a different way. So it must be with each loop around the circle in a project, in classes, in life. Amidst the ever-present chaos and fogginess of our world and work we grew to appreciate our circular motion. It may look like we stood still, but on closer inspection we created deepening grooves in a once smooth surface. We're in the same place and yet we're not.
Still, I cling to linear advancement in my personal life. I demand forward/upward/onward progress from myself. I'm tired of what feels like the same circles, the same choices, the same mistakes. I keep expecting to arrive. Arrive where? After finishing up my paper it hit me. I may feel like a keep retracing the same path, but it's not the same. Life is cycles. If we allow space for reflection, we just might discover we gained some wisdom on the last lap that eases the next just a bit.
So here we all are again, in the dark. Thank goodness. This is where we rejuvenate. It calls for us to return the hurt and dead parts of ourselves to the darkness, to let them become rich soil for new growth.
I love the following passage from Seasonal Yoga, I return to it ever winter and summer solstice.
The dark is good. It is a place for rest and renewal, the place of healing, wisdom and inner knowing. I use meditation, inner journeying and visualization to get in touch with this place within myself. I am developing my intuition, catching the receptive flashes of insight and messages that seem to jump out of nowhere and have become a natural way of life for me now. This has brought me a deep inner stabilty and inner peace.
I invite you to make peace with the darkness. Not just with the next few days and weeks. Welcome it and learn to anticipate it as sweetly as the light. Because it will be back in one short year. And just think of what you will have learned in that time!