It’s the answer, right? It’s the hero to vanquish darkness. It’s the ultimate rivalry, the Celtic vs. United of the cosmos, light vs. darkness. We seek light. Light’s the good guy. Arlo Guthrie says you can’t have a light without a dark to stick it in.
Take that, dark.
Jedis have been both members of the dark side and rebel alliance (light side). Although you can’t always tell by the color of the light saber, it all plays out in black and white, this light vs. dark. Things looking bleak? Seek the light. Follow the light. BE the light.
Right? Light, light, light.
I push on my Dollar Tree sunglasses and pull down the bill of my ratted up Colorado Rockies cap at this deluge of light.
A night light to illuminate the path
It’s tough to find the toilet in a new house, in the middle of the night. (Or an old house, even.) Stacy, who writes Slowing the Racing Mind, wrote about buying a night light to illuminate the path. Symbolism wasn’t lost on Stacy.
“It really does not take much light to dispel the darkness around us,” she wrote.
She recognized light’s significance. And reminded us all of the power of seeking the light – and becoming the light for others. She’s right. Light, though, it takes energy. Just look at your power bill. Light takes electricity, and bulbs get hot and burn out and need replacing.
Light requires constant pedaling, perpetual motion.
I’ve found myself, face to the sun, in search of a renewal that transcends vitamin B, from the light and warmth of its rays.
I absorb it, eyes closed. Light requires constant pedaling, perpetual motion. When the hamster wheel slows, the light dims. Light demands effort, mobility. Its shine tells the world we’re winning the battle. We’re turning corners and blazing trails.
Sometimes, though, I want to stop. Not quit. Just, stop. I did, once.
That time I stopped for a moment
For a moment on a disc golf course, I lost a disc. I sat down. I lay back. I gazed skyward. The solitude normally found here eluded me. Just like that disc. In that moment, it felt like all I wanted to run from lurked in the trees.
I shut my eyes.
If I could just … stay here, I thought. Sleep. Never wake up. I kept my eyes closed, or partially so. Not unlike a meditative state. A calm washed over me when I shut out the light. My eyes opened when the warmth of tears reached my ears.
I retold this story on a therapist’s couch, closing my eyes and returning to that spot of immobility that helped give me a moment of tranquility.
I sat up, relaxed, relieved.
I turned left to see my lost disc, resting against a stump in the wavering sunlight that escaped between branches in motion. I retold this story on a therapist’s couch, closing my eyes and returning to that spot of immobility that helped give me a moment of tranquility.
I turned to my therapist of the time.
She was wrong
Her look of concern belied mine of serenity. Not wanting to wake, it seems, sounds an awful lot like a death wish. No. It’s relief. Relief from light. Light isn’t always the answer, even though light illuminates all.
It illuminates not just our blessings, but also our curses.
It’s music, smell, sights, experiences, and questions that whirl in the mind, pushing that arm wrestle of dark vs. light this way, then that. It’s stepping foot on familiar ground, GPS routes on paths wrought with memories of a life you thought you had.
It’s soldiering on, fighting the good fight, remaining strong and still when the path you hoped you’d follow falls away beneath your feet.
It accompanies thoughts, at dawn, as you sort out that those weren’t nightmares. They were simply what happened yesterday.
It’s soldiering on, fighting the good fight, remaining strong and still when the path you hoped you’d follow falls away beneath your feet. It’s okay, more than okay, to pause from the trek onward and upward to seek a little respite from the light.
To seek, instead, the shade. It’s okay to be lost. To admit it, even. To feel there isn’t much use in so much light when you don’t even see a path take.
Shade (not that kind) on the soccer pitch
My little soccer kids used to recoil from the blazing sun.
Who am I kidding? My big soccer kids did, too. I brought popsicles on the steamiest days, and we stopped more often for water. There’s very little a coach can do against the pounding rays of the sun, though.Unless he orders a cloud to cover the sun.
“Here comes my cloud!” I’d say, and point to the sky. “I ordered it online, to cover the sun for you guys for a while. It cost $17! And it’s late!”
When you’re 6 and even when you’re 16, you don’t question the validity of coach’s story.
You revel in the relief of the cloud. Sometimes, coach needs the cloud, too.
Finding due North
When life throws you for a loop, it’s instinctive to grab the rudder. With both hands. It’s healthy to seek the light, to find your due north. Forge ahead. It’s also okay to not spend your every moment swinging the sword, though.
It’s hard work.
Put the sword down sometimes, and the shield. You turn your face to the sun, and close your eyes. Your former path, no longer in sight, remains in view and in mind. It’s writing your most favorite chapters,not the last, but those leading to a happy ending.
Then, your computer crashes. It’s lost. You can’t find those chapters, so you write again.
The rewrite comes slowly. Recreating words anew becomes laborious. Your path is unknown. So, you hope for a moment to stop. Duck from the light. Light brings life. Shade gives you the respite you need, though. So, shade.
Sometimes, it also can be the answer.