May the Sun bring you new energy by day,
may the Moon softly restore you by night,
may the rain wash away your worries,
may the breeze blow new strength into your Being,
may you walk gently through the world
and know its beauty all the days of your life.
Do you know how things have a shadow side? For example, the gift of being organized (and slightly Type A) has a shadow side of being controlling, or the underside of compassion can sometimes accompany a difficulty with setting boundaries.
Well, I am wondering if Fall has an underbelly–if Fall has a shadow side that matches its beauty and glory. I am beginning to think that it does. Partly because the beauty can’t be all there is. I wish it was, but it can’t be. The world is beautiful but it also holds pain and unfulfillment.
I am wondering if the shadow side of Fall’s beauty is the down-ness I feel. The slow to rise, the doubt that is creeping in, the desire to hibernate instead of fold laundry–all of these things contribute to a bittersweet sensation. I love the beauty of the leaves and I love the cooler weather, but I feel so much harder on myself in the Fall than I do even during swimsuit season. I think Fall’s shadow side ushers in doubt, fear, and the impending darkness that the earth rests in as she sleeps. I feel like sleeping, too, but I resist it. First of all, I am not a tree. Second of all, the laundry must be folded.
I can’t help but hold the shadow side next to the beauty. In all things, the darkness informs the light. Without the darkness we would have difficulty sleeping and difficulty letting go. Perhaps this “shadow” side is our time to let go and tuck in to what is. Perhaps I need to embrace the fact that I am an inconsistent housekeeper. I want to be more consistent–I will keep striving to become a more consistent housekeeper, but I will not beat myself up over the fact that I chose to write or to nap instead of sweep and put things away.
This is my stance: enjoy the beauty while acknowledging the shadows. They are there, but they do not own the beauty. Allow this time to be what it is: nature’s permission to rest. Lastly, enjoy what is and take some time to press the pretty Fall leaves, but only if I want to…
I see beauty in silence because silence is modest–it never forces itself on anyone, it’s not intrusive or disruptive. Rather, it waits in the background, behind all noises, whispers, or sounds, whether harmonious or cacophonous. Within the endless possible sounds we can hear, the beauty of silence lies in its subtlety, its ability to reveal its undemanding wonders without aggression or hostility to the one who listens.
~ Carl McColman, from Answering the Contemplative Call: Five Steps on the Mystical Path