The nights are long during the Vermont winter. Night arrives early and lingers late. Cloudy skies hasten the darkness and delay the dawn. By Thanksgiving the sun is setting shortly before five. What was, in summer, late afternoon, is now nightfall.
We do not hold ourselves responsible for winter’s darkness. Rather, we understand the year’s syncopating rhythms of light and darkness as part of the natural order of things. We are not in charge; yet our lives mirror, and are mirrored by, the world.
In our lives we will encounter light and darkness. At any time, one or the other may be in ascendance or decline. If we experience abuse, or other trauma, times of darkness may seem to all but extinguish the light. When all is well, darkness may seem a distant concern.
We are Nature. Within us are both light and darkness, and both are good and necessary. We require the darkness of night to sleep and dream, and be renewed. The bright light of day fosters the growth of our crops, and feeds our bodies and spirits. When we walk in balance, there is beauty in both the light and the dark, and neither seduces us into mistrusting, or exiling, the other.
The Good Road of balance is a path of gratitude and Thanksgiving. It is a road of compassion, and of an ever growing awareness of the kinship of all beings. On this path we are reminded that the fate of the Earth, and all who reside here, is also our fate. It is a path requiring great courage, the will to remember the past and tend the future, and much self forgiveness, for we cannot live without hurting others. It is the life road from gestation to birth, to death, and back to Spirit. Along the way we explore life in the body, its passions, fears, and hungers. It is a road traveled by countless generations of people before us, an it is Holy.
Story, ceremony, and healing remind us of the sanctity of the path. Perhaps that is why the winter and the night are chosen by so many cultures as the time to tell the most sacred stories and perform the old and required ceremonies. In winter, in the lands far from the equator, the nights are long, the land sleeps, and there is time to tend the stories, the Ancestors, and the spirits. In spring and summer, we give thanks for the bounty of the land and the generosity of the Creator and the spirits. There are ceremonies that honor the light of the warm times.
In therapy sessions, and healing ceremonies and rituals, we seek to sit with the darkness, and to understand its wisdom. We also acknowledge the light of the compassionate heart, and of the open mind. We hold to the center, where light and darkness can both be valued teachers.We explore each, and return to the center. When the forces of light and darkness gather against one another, those who walk the Good Road see the truth in both sides, and the blindness, and offer council and, when possible, reconciliation.
This way of Balance and Beauty requires much of those who would walk it. Yet it offers many rewards, and the possibility of profound healing for self, other, and Earth. It is a Good road.