“Light, dark, light, dark…..light……dark, light, dark…..light….”
This was one of the favorite games we played with our young sons on road trips. Perhaps you’ve played it too? We traveled along in the car, surrounded by trees, the sunshine coming through the leaves and creating a pattern of light and dark on the grey road. Because of our continuous movement through the pattern, we experienced the transition almost as a staccato of shadows.
“Dark, light, dark….dark…..dark, light, dark, light….”
I remember the fun of trying to keep up with the pattern as it flew by. I remember the trust this game cultivated for me, I could rely on light or dark to fill my senses. Sometimes in a flash, sometimes for extended periods of time. I could rely on the trees and the sunshine to play with us, even if it was just a ride to the store.
Recently, my husband left for work and said, “Enjoy the ride,” as I prepared for the morning commute. Long ago, we learned that “the ride” on our motorcycle was far more important than the destination. When our awareness is on the ride, we smell the orchards we’re driving through, feel the coolness of a nearby lake, and lean together as the curve invites us to the left and then to the right.
As September appears in our view, its easy to complain about summer going by too fast. Its easy to focus on the “end” of summer or the next event – school, fall foliage, Hallowe’en. If our attention is on the next thing, however, we can forget to enjoy the ride. Perhaps what caught my interest in our “light, dark, light” game was the requirement to stay in the present moment. I had to pay attention to each shift of brightness and shadow to name it.
Lately, I’ve been paying attention to some darkness in my life. Some old memories that were hidden away under the demands of everyday life and years of growing older. Into my growing awareness, I brought my trust that light always follows dark. With focused attention, I engaged my capacity to stay in the present moment. I stayed with the memories allowing them to teach me and to release me from patterns and beliefs that are no longer life-giving.
Our capacity to see and name the darkness is just as important as reaching out and dwelling in the light. Our willingness to move between the two, teaches us how to lean into the curves and keep our balance. As the new season brings shorter days, let us call out the shifts that we see along the way. Let us trust the ride, and each other, as we embrace both the dark and the light of our lives, as one.
With love along the way,