Saturday, under the canopy of the sun, blue sky and spectacular clouds, in spacious, open land, I walked.
At home, my mind was racing without stopping, reflecting on the events of the week and wondering how to be with them, how to acknowledge the felt darkness as someone who wants to keep it at bay, and how to draw on the work of generations before me, of my own and of those coming after me.
At the same time, one hand holding the angst and the other, this – hope, determination, and a desire to walk steadily and with eyes, heart, mind and soul open to the light.
Light that shines in darkness.
Light that uplifts.
Light that brings ideas and creation into clarity and action.
Light that soothes and surrounds and is passed from one to another and held with real or imaginary arms.
There is longing for light and for far more reasons than I could list or even know. It is not a longing simply because of one event or person or disappointment or betrayal. The longing for light weaves through so much of life, as does the joy in feeling it, finding it, seeing it and knowing it is inside me and inside you.
I hopped in my car because I know that walking in the natural physical light, always opens all of me. It carries me beyond its presence into being with my interior presence. My feet carry me along as if they have an important part in releasing it to me bit by bit. It is always so.
Light is a word and a quality that is never far from my thoughts. It is, along with love, wonder, breath, and more, what keeps me centered. I look for it everywhere, to give, to receive, to know my own, and to see it in others, even if different than what resonates with me.
In recent years I have imagined a new reason my father named me Dawn. The story goes that he had seen a photo in the NY Times of a beautiful bride whose name was Dawn so he chose that for the girl’s name. Already chosen before being in synchronicity with it, born at dawn.
As I have learned more and more about him to add to what I already knew and felt, I think there was a part of him that chose that name with light in mind, a part he would never give voice to. I might be making it up, but I like to think it is so.
I think about the light of his smile, the light that shown through his morning songs to wake me up, the light I felt when he would say as we were doing dishes together, “I’m glad you came to live at my house.”
There is light of another that spirals and weaves and winds its way into our being, taking up residence.
The light of words. Spoken. Written. Personal. Communal. Poetry. Songs. Words that sustain, words that allow beautiful escape, words that nudge us to be more of who we are, words that affirm, words that guide our way…words, words, words.
The light of our soul. Light that holds us and surrounds us, light that is ours alone and not dependent on anything or anyone else…it is an inner light that is always there, dim though it might feel at times.
The light of our soul that contrasts with or pairs with what we refer to as “the dark night of the soul.”
The light animals and pets bring into our lives, indescribable.
Light in one’s eyes.
Light of one’s voice.
Light in presence.
Light of love.
Light of silence.
Light of connection. I always think of Whitney Houston’s voice and the power of her singing in her flowing, poignant way, “You light up my life.”
Light in community and how inner lights flow through a room of many as well as through one person across a table.
The light of children’s laughter and mischievousness and sheer joy simply in being alive and living before filters constrict. How I miss my time in schools with them.
Light of a new challenge and saying yes to it.
Light of others’ insights that help form or perhaps reform our own, at times limited and boxed in.
Feeling of lightness, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. A sense, perhaps, of floating.
Light of emotion that shines through a look, a note, a call.
Light of service to others. I have the feeling it does not get any better than that. I know it is time to find this in my new geography.
Always look for light, wherever you are and in whoever you are with.
Notice, deeply notice. Let it sink in.
And I want to say that often, yes often, I can almost see it and can definitely feel it from those no longer in this physical world. There is a keen sense of presence and at times I find myself talking out loud and laughing with one of them, or I hear words said to me that I no longer hear audibly but hold in my heart and come back to again and again.
Be on the lookout for light, sometimes feeling a bit like a scavenger hunt, but it’s there.
Acknowledge the light, wherever it comes from and where it goes.
Let another hear they are light.
Know that when a light disappears it is on its own journey. Kind of like rainbows.
Hold light in its own container in your heart and soul, as a reservoir always to which you can turn, return and dip. It is a well that never runs dry even if you think you are accessing the last drop.
Remember, as Leonard Cohen wrote, it is through the cracks that the light gets in.
Give voice to it.
Rest in it.
And always, always know it is there even when you cannot see or feel it. Kind of like the sun hiding behind clouds.
This light guides and allows us to live more fully, in wonder and joy.
The photograph is the light of Annie, a dog who won my entire heart, soul and mind and who, no matter how many miles apart, fills me with the joy of her presence with each thought of her.