Several of us gathered in a meadow between two lakes, lugging chairs and cushions, water bottles and pinhole cameras. Clouds had moved in and continued to build throughout the morning, and though they softened the dramatic effect of the eclipse, it was still a rare and delightful experience.
The setting was magnificent, with mountain views in three directions, a bowl of sky above. And then it began to darken, and a lone goose shouted out his coarse song.
The humans in attendance wove periods of meditative silence with delighted exclamations as one pinhole camera in particular revealed the tiniest toenail of a sun.
Amidst this odd, noontime gloaming, I sat in a copse of low scrub oak and felt a quickening in my core. Perhaps I was imagining it, or even creating the sensation. I felt it nonetheless.
Now, as I think back on that day, I’m struck by how this very same moon travels between us and the sun each month, though the angle is seldom precise enough to block the sun’s light as it did that day. For eons, humans have honored the new moon as a time for quieting. A time to turn inward, listen for guidance, or simply to be.
But we modern folk largely ignore this monthly near~eclipse, and our pace often remains frenetic. Balance is lost, and balance lost brings with it consequences. The hate in Charlottesville, the President’s disturbing response, the alarming presence of advisors in the White House sympathetic to white supremacist and fascist ideologies…it is all quite harrowing.
During times of spiritual eclipse, though, the solar eclipse offers counsel. Darkness will come, it says…and darkness will go. Though shadow may at times obscure the Light, it will not, it cannot, extinguish it. We can choose hatred and the fear that gives rise to it, or we can align with a spiritual Light, one that shines always, regardless of whether we humans, with our limited vision, can see it.
We have been given life on a rare and beautiful planet spinning through space. Perhaps we might be enticed to open to awe in the many moments of our lives, small or grand may they be. And when we open to awe, Light is not far behind. It rushes in, guiding our actions and working through them into the world.
And yet, fear and all the disturbance it creates will invariably rise up to block what an old song calls “the long-time sun”. Whenever it does, we must open again to that eternal luminescence, one that may produce a quickening in our core.
And in those instances when we can’t quite find our way, we might think back to last month’s eclipse, and remind ourselves that Light shines on, just on the other side of the blockage. Shadows come and shadows go, but Light remains. Always.
May we live in harmony with the Light,
And for those of you interested in the song referred to above, here it is by The Incredible String Band, the folks I first heard sing it~~