Saturday, June 6, 2015

Shadows Reveal a Lacy Side of Life

"In a dark time, the eye begins to see."  Roethke

It has been an uneasy week--okay, an uneasy month. For no reason I can identify, my nerves have been on edge. Tension buzzing inside me. In the morning,  anxiety shakes me awake. Worst of all, I haven't succeeded in fingering a cause. 
In times like this, walks calm me for an hour or two. A 10-minute meditation quiets briefly the internal flutter that ruffles equanimity. I've applied both remedies, but can't seem to evade for long the undefined tumult festering within.

For a Type-A get-this-handled kind of person like me, the absence of a clear target or cause provokes further frustration and unrest. My life is good--so full of love and friends and projects and creative opportunities that I feel shamed by my own unhappiness.

As is my usual practice, I've turned to nature for therapy--stretching out my walks as I seek a rhythm of wholeness for body, mind and spirit. A long walk last Sunday led me to a starting point in making peace with this uncertainty.

It was the shadows splashed across a nature trail that woke me as I retraced my steps on the path for a return to the car. I'd been walking 50 minutes by then and had 30 more to go when I noticed the patterns spread at my feet--a lacy web of dark and light.  I'd passed this section not long before without even noticing the interplay of shadow and sun that spread variety, interest and beauty at my feet. My mind tried to piece together a quote that I'd once found intriguing. At home, I looked it up:

"When there is much light, the shadows are deepest."  Goethe

Once again, I am reminded that nature is a powerful, patient therapist. Walking is the vehicle that carries me to contemplation, and to appreciation of the variations that lend shape and shade, color and interest, to my life. 

This morning the sun is bright--dappling the oak trees outside the house with light. Draping the walk in an intricate play of clarity and shadow. I'm heading off to walk on lace. 

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