January 26th. Night descends around 5:30 pm. I sit at my desk wrapped in wool from head to toe. I wrap my hands around my large tea mug to keep them warm. Outside my window, the brightness of the snow contrasts with the darkening skies and the streetlights throw shadows across the frozen mounds of snow.
It is so cold that my little dog doesn’t even bother trotting down the ramp to pee in the yard. Little sprinkles of yellow snow are visible on the side of the deck where the snow is piled up from the shovel moving up and down the deck, clearing a path but leaving a target for a little dog who believes it is too damn cold to pee in the frozen tundra that is our yard.
January is nearing its end. January is named after the the Roman God Janus, the God with a face looking back towards the past year and forward to the oncoming year. In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of doors, gates, and transitions. Janus represented the middle ground between both concrete and abstract dualities such as life/death, beginning/end, youth/adulthood, rural/urban, war/peace, and barbarism/civilization.
What are we transitioning towards here in this time of 2022?
Will we move towards a more equitable, just society or succumb to authoritarian rule?
Will we honor the collective good or dig our heels into hyper individualism?
So far, in this month of transition we have lost beloved elders, iconic figures that represent the best of us.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Thich Nhat Hanh
These Blessed Beings lived beyond duality, embodied love in action, worked for peace, some by becoming peace. Beings who walked a path that wasn’t centrist bypassing (meet in the middle) which denies those who are the most marginalized in a false equivalency that wrongly presumes equal access to power, but a path that speaks an ethic of love, compassion and engaged mindfulness.A relational rather than transactional path.
We are called to carry on their legacies in ways that make sense to us. Read their words. Study their lives.
Pay attention to people who speak, live and act from love/justice/compassion/peace.
Everyone else is making noise and taking up space.
Don’t be distracted Dear Ones.
Rest, reflect, nourish and remain curious.
Last night I dreamt of two female lions, beautiful beings that moved with fluid grace. They occupied a large space where I sat, and did not feel threatening to me at all. There were no barriers between me and these large cats. They peacefully patrolled the space we shared. I felt no urgency or fear but alert and grounded.
Waking this morning, I felt an understanding of these cats, fierce and gentle as they appeared in my dream in the whole of my Being. I feel protective of my energy in the face of omicron where I spend beloved time with hospice patients and my harp as well as consulting in a long term care facility that daily deals with Covid infections rising. Accustomed and comfortable with the virtual spaces where I both teach and learn has become a new normal and I don’t feel into “when is it time to go back.”
To me, these cats symbolized the fierce gentle, protective space of self-care, community care and deep, slow time. There is no ‘Going Back”. There is evolving and adapting.
One thing is clear to me, I won’t adapt from a place of fear, but of a space of genuine consideration for others, from a space of love.
I have been feeling into my body/heart lately as well as feeling tentatively into the rawness and inertia of collective space (this is called unitative listening) and falling short of describing my own experience that increases in dimension and depth on my own journey. This dream landed in all these spaces as a gift that defies words.
I rest in the fierce and gentle wildness of my nature. That is all I need to know and do right now.