Your green all dissipated and dissolved, you part company with freshness and sap, suddenly alone and falling. Down and down, lower you swoop, till the ground greets you. Different colours are yours now, burnished golds and reds, as though the sunset of your days has painted itself on your canvas. The light shines through your fragility and you glow like flame. Everything falls apart in the end, and we all change from green to gold, fresh to old, full of life to full of wisdom. Breaking into your constituent parts, your molecules will mulch into the mud soon enough, not in grieving but in sighing contentedly into the soil, a good end, gone on to become something more.
‘Day 124: fallen leaf’, Keren Dibbens-Wyatt, Garden of God’s Heart (124)
An encounter with Joy is an encounter with light and darkness; Joy is an encounter with colour. And so, as I begin to approach the darkest day of the year in my northern climate, I wonder, what season of colour might I be in? What colour is my Joy today?
I need to open myself to the present moment, to see where the Presence wants to lead me today. In his book Spiritual Intelligence Brian Draper cites author Mike Riddell:
Neither past nor future provide legitimate respite from the challenge and beauty of the moment. When we learn to become fully present in every instant, we discover that there are opportunities and choices immediately before us which will determine both our past and our future.
Here on the sharp blade of the moment lie opportunities to create and to love … In the capsule of experience which is given to us each instant, we determine who we are and what is significant to us. The whole of our lives is presented to us in the moment, and each moment is an intersection with eternity in which we decide our destiny and are offered the grace of becoming. All else is an illusion. (136)
Brian Draper goes to ask the following questions:
Where are you willing to let the path lead you? To a place where few other paths seem to lead? To a place that has remained unmapped in your lifetime? To a place where you can find your treasure and share the joy with others? To a place of active surrender? To a place utterly incomparable with anywhere you could have imagined finding yourself? The journey continues. (136)
Can I have joy today in whatever colour season I find myself in?
Can I delight in its’ hues and subtle tones as light plays over me?
Can I be truly grateful for the opportunities God lays before me as the gift of the ‘grace of becoming’?
Can I see where my treasure sparks dark in the light, trying to catch my attention to the places within I want to hurry past or hastily bury?
Can I, in this very instant, pause long enough to welcome an ‘intersection with eternity’?
nothing gold can stay
whisper my Celtic ancestors over my shoulder
thus ends the season of light
before the year grows one night older
show welcome to the kingdom
of darkness which gleams bright
in the thin times it need not always be right
to begin with the luminous
instead bring in the riches of the numinous
and let us give of our wisdom
be intrigued to examine where the veil
of greys parts into gold
and be not afraid of the coming cold
new life begins in the dark
and you will uncover how to mark
abundant growth from the gale
that might tear your tree down
might uproot its’ crown
yet you will endure such shaking
if you enter into the mysteries of making
and let us grace you the courage to be bolder
let us prepare you for the come what may.
‘nothing gold can stay’
Kate Kennington Steer
an intersection with eternity. iPhone image.