Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Flying in the Dark

It's January 10th in Connecticut, a Sunday afternoon, and so mild I decide to take a walk, despite the gloom.  I consult my weather app to check sunset  (4:39) even though there's been no sign of sun all day.  It's now 4:26.  I decide to do my neighborhood loop and end at the pond, per usual, even though it will be dark by then.  The dock faces northwest so at least that part of the sky won't be completely drained of light by the time I get there.

I've got my umbrella looped around my wrist and only a cotton t-shirt under my oversize sweatshirt. The treetops scrape the damp sky with their bony fingers, swaying back and forth.  It's strangely warm and good to be outside on a January evening.

I've taken up yoga.  I've discovered the joy of easing tension away under the guidance of my teachers. Eagle arms, circle of joy -- these  asanas let it all go.

I love the yoga but my walks give me fresh air, and today -- in January! -- it's warm and windy. Perfect for a thorough aura cleanse. I imagine the gusty breezes getting into every nook and cranny of my energy field -- the unseen cocoon that surrounds and interpenetrates our bodies -- metabolizing all our stuff (and I don't mean food here).  Like a stiff breeze through gauzy curtains, shaking loose the dust and cobwebs.

Rounding the corner onto Highland, I open my umbrella because now it's drizzling.  I hold it at an angle so I can still see the sky and the occasional jogger coming my way.  It gets caught in the wind, so I hold it steady as it pulls me this way and that.

On the dock is John, the owner of the property, who graciously lets me sit and gaze out over the reservoir whenever I want.  Tonight he's smoking a sweet smelling cigar, like sage, smudge.

Hey John.

Hey Julie, I had to step out and get some air.  I've been in the car all day.  We chat.

Do we have ice?  Out on the pond the geese are standing on the surface of the pond, and since they're not Jesus, John jokes, we have ice.  Here in the inlet, there's a thin glaze.  Further out, ghostly fog floats.

Unseasonable.  Warm like Spring, but the last few days have been cold enough to create ice.  Down the way, the waterfall is swollen and rushing from overnight rains.  Although the solstice is weeks behind us, it still doesn't feel like winter. The grass is green, unmarred by snow.  Christmas lights strung on bushes and around front doors await a return to normalcy.

John and I are saying good night when we hear the croak of the heron. I've never seen one in the dark, but there he is, flying low overhead, tracing the shore of our little inlet but not venturing over land. John says it's because we're here, that he does cross through the back yards if no one's outside.

The voice of great blue heron calling out in the fallen darkness reaches into my soul.  He doesn't have to say anything; we might not have noticed him had his flight remained silent.  Yet he cries out in his distinctive voice, his neck stretched outward, wings beating like laundry snapping on the line, his long beak pointing the way.

Like this bird, I, too, am flying in the dark in this new year.  Trying to get a feel for a direction of my own. The new year always feels full of possibility and potential, but where to focus?  Where to expand? What to let go of?  Like the fog hovering over thin ice, the future feels etherial, difficult to peer into, and ultimately -- unknown.

Yet we meet it like the heron.  Hanging out in the border-lands between earth, water and sky -- the realms of the material, the emotional, the spiritual. The dimensions of stable ground, movement -- flowing or frozen, and the mental realm of air.  The only element missing is fire -- not even one streak of light across the western horizon to light the way for us.

In this way, my pond retreat is like the aura I was consciously cleansing earlier.  In the human energy field, all these elements converge -- earth (body), air (mind and spirit), water (emotions) and fire (passion and creativity).  Our beliefs run along invisible threads of light, colliding with our feelings, spinning and wheeling like the very wind.  Spirit opens its wings to fly. Our inner fire ignites our creative self-expression.

Nightfall is complete.  I make my way home without stars or slim moon, only clouds scudding across dark skies, grateful for my feathered totem -- flying with confidence into the mists, calling out for us follow.

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  1. I always love reading these :) your writing paints a beautiful picture.

  2. Beautiful, right there with you Julie, flying in the dark with you and your heron is palpable...

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