Snow. Silence. And the Birthing of an Invincible Summer.

"I know a new and kinder day will come...
And there is only one way of preparing the new age,
by living it even now in our hearts."
~ Etty Hillesum

"In the depth of winter I finally learned
that there was in me
an invincible summer."
~ Albert Camus

The nearly 30 hours or so of relentless snow has ceased, and left much that will need attention to, in its aftermath - downed trees that are now precariously resting against my neighbor's house, a road that may not be plowed for days and that connects us to the outer world, power that was off for over five hours, and a half cooked turkey that we were not able to finish cooking and eat until about 10 PM!

Still, in the midst of all this fury, there was breathtaking beauty and God's sweetest invitation to slow down, to be present, to enjoy the moment, and to commune with Him. And truly, what can be better than that?

Since I am very much a contemplative at heart, the idea of being home bound for days is always enticing, except that I must re-schedule some appointments here and there to fully take advantage of this unexpected gift of "kairos" - sacred time - that gently pulled so many out of "chronos" - time measured by clocks and dictated by calendars...

Through the wonder of social networking and media, I was able to ascertain that many braved the weather well. My dear friend's purchase of the birdseed that I referred to in my previous entry, came in handy, and kept the party in her back yard going, even under the circumstances. And so many of my wild yogi and yogini friends posted pictures of themselves in advanced poses in the snow, resulting in much good cheer spread through the infinite highways of cyberspace!

Today, the sun shines brightly and magnificently, almost defiantly negating that the previous couple of days had been both treacherous and dangerous! Today, it is a shiny winter wonderland out there that is almost blinding to the eye...

Yet still, a part of me is dreaming of spring and summer, and there is a deep longing in me to be in a tank top and on the river, paddling upstream with Grace, my kayak...

But instead, I read some of these words yesterday by Etty Hillesum, a young woman who died in Auschwitz at the age of 29, and Paramahansa Yogananda, and they filled me, and warmed me, even during those hours when the temperature in my house slowly plummeted...

From Hillesum:

"It is a great deal to realize that one comprises part of a great growing process, indeed simply to be aware of such a process. I believe that for far too many people life still consists of rather disconnected, accidental moments...

There is a vast silence in me that continues to grow. And washing around in it are so many words that make one tired because one can express nothing with them. One must do more and more without meaningless words the better to find the few one needs. And in the silence, new powers of expression must grow...One day I shall find my own words for the things I have say..."

"Yes: to belong to one's experience. And to transform it. That is my great yearning...We must carry our experience within us, place it at the center of a quiet space within us and hearken to it there. That is something you cannot do if you pay too much heed to the enthusiasms assailing your poor self from without. To be alone. Stillness. No matter how much of a bustling crowd there is about you..."

From Yogananda:

"Humility is the example of an understanding heart and an example of greatness for others to follow.

Whatever you want others to be, first be that yourself.

Your good example will do more to change others than your wishing or words..."

Yes, there is, an invincible summer in the depths of this great winter which is slowly melting the icicles of my heart and eroding the confines of this waning season. It is growing, and soon my invincible summer will be radiantly on display for all to see, and it will be fully enjoyed. And today, my deep longing for it dissolves in the slightest, sweetest, inkling of a taste!

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