Some beauty can only be seen in darkness.
Some music can only be heard in darkness.
Some problems can only be solved in darkness.
There is a necessary darkness that assists all of life
in the growing process. - Macrina Wiederkehr, The Flowing Grace of Now
Right now, in my basement, under a set a grow lights, is a beautiful collection of seedlings getting ready to be put into the ground. They range from lettuce and spinach, which are just about ready to go outside, to warmer weather veggies like tomatoes, okra and eggplant.
My pepper and okra plants are little miracles. These were in seed packages labeled as far back as 2017. And yet, they grow here in 2020. So much energy in these tiny vehicles of life once they are placed into the darkness.
These seeds mirror my emotional state. Some days I feel plunged into darkness, into despair. On those difficult days I must force myself outside, into the light of day, where I know I immediately feel better - just as my seeds need the light of the grow lamp to grow healthy and strong. Other days I recognize the darkness for what it is - a gestation, a waiting, a time when something new will be born.
What will our world on the other side of Coronavirus look like? Will we go back to “business as usual?” I hope not. I hope that we are all making lasting connections with the natural world in this time. I hope that we all see her recovering, resetting, without our pollution and cars and interference. I hope we do a better job of respecting that. I hope we find a world where corporations are no longer people, where we care for the environment and for ourselves, where working a 60-hour week is no longer “normal.” As an individual, I can hope here alone in the darkness. Later on, in the light of a new day, we must all choose to make a difference together.
Exercise to Try:
From Seed to Plant - (adapted Authentic Movement by Robbin Marcus)
Go to a room where you have plenty of space for movement, removing any obstacles you might bump into. Plan at least 10 minutes to fully experience this exercise. You may want a journal to write about your experience afterward. If you have someone at home who would be willing to witness you (i.e. keep you safe as you move with eyes closed), invite them to join you. You can switch places at the end of the exercise if you’d each like a turn.
Lie down on the floor in the middle of the room. Close your eyes as you curl up tightly in a ball. Visualize yourself, a seed, in the darkness of the soil. Stay with yourself. See what you notice about being a seed.
As you feel the urge to move, go with it. Don’t watch yourself, be with yourself as you experience whatever comes to you.
See yourself growing very gradually towards the light. Allow yourself to open up in your body. Eventually, you may find yourself upright and on your feet. When that has happened or simply when you are ready, gently open your eyes.
What did you learn about being alone in the darkness?
What happened as you grew?
What’s happening now?