Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Obvious

Solstice. The darkest night gives way to the light. Tiny imperceptible fragments of light, broken into degrees, each growing increasing longer and brighter. This particular day has always seemed a bit confusing for me. Rather than the return of the light, which I know is scientifically calculable, it seems the darkest times lay ahead, at least for the next few months. But then I have to remind myself I am looking at the situation from a completely fabricated standpoint. Of course it seems darker to me as I am subject to the governing bodies decision to have daylight savings time. I have no idea what the universe is really doing do I? Or maybe I do.

When I was young, riding in the back of a station wagon with a friend, her father commented absentmindedly that the sky grows darker each second as the sun sets. I was intrigued, staring out the window at the blur of neighborhood lights twinkling behind the tall pines. I had to see for myself. I forced my eyes open, not wanting to miss a second of change, of darkness, of mystery. He was right. I could see the light change when I tried until I could see nothing but my own reflection in the glass. In this case the great mystery fell away because he stated the obvious. The obvious; that which was in front of me all of my life, yet I had never bothered to force myself to see before.
I noticed a few days ago the two hawks who watch me walk home from the bus stop at 6:55 am were still there, but they weren't waiting in the trees. They had already caught breakfast by then since I am an hour late due to savings time. The bluebirds still come at the normal time to devour my suet, but how many mornings have I missed them, wondering where they had gone, forgetting it was I who had changed. This charade all came to me in a rush tonight, not unlike that night as an eight year old so long ago. I stood in the driveway to chat with Orion and Sirius as is my wintry habit, when a great bright light shot through the blue black sky, straight through the Pleiades, over Orion's shoulder, burning out to the southwest just under Venus. Again I saw the obvious: the dead light from those dead stars, the burning light from that passing meteor, the living light of the sun reflected from a planet's surface. No man great or small can change the universe. We can study it, argue about it, try to manipulate it to suit our needs, even kill over it. Silly humans. We can only control how we see the universe and what we choose to believe about everything within it. When I force myself to look with open eyes, heart, and mind, I see the light again. I hope you do too.

I am taking a blog break for the next week and want to wish everyone who stops by here a very happy holiday season. I see I have visitors from over 30 countries now. I don't know all of your languages or customs, but it seems "You are loved and appreciated" translates in most. Be well, friends.


Heather said...

I too have always been fascinated by light. By it's meaning. By it's power. By how I physically need it (especially since I work night shift) Thank you for the holiday sentiments and may your family have the very best!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

One: The hawks. They've been wondering what happened to you.

Two: I also have difficulty with the notion that we just passed the darkest day of the year. January always seems darker to me than December,and February darker still.

Three: Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Blessings all around!


kim said...

Your posts are always so though-provoking. I feel the same way about the longest day of the year. Yet I never thought of it that way before.

I hope that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

LinDragon said...

In England, we find that ,although we have passed the longest night, the dark lifts later each day for a further week. However, the evenings draw in later each day.The net result is that each day is slightly longer.It is the perception one must change.

amandajean said...

merry christmas to you! i am always ecstatic after winter solstice...when the days finally start getting longer.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!