Light Wins by Shining


dscf3123We’ve been healing from the daily news explosions by taking long walks in the snow and listening for what is needed that we can offer our family, community, and world.

The Lord of Misrule used to be a peasant appointed to “rule” over the manor’s Christmas revelries, a kind of topsy-turvy silliness enjoyed for a few hours every year.dscf3218For us, the Lord of Misrule and his minions will begin their reign on January 20th, and the Feast of Fools will last four years. Maybe. The world is in a dangerous mood and silliness is not the proper response, so the feeling that anything could happen is more pronounced than when educated and sensible minds are at the helm.dscf3220So we lie awake and worry, or enjoy a few hours of denial here and there, or divert our attention to complete the tasks before us, or…well, you get the idea.dscf3162Walking in the snow, especially if it’s falling while we walk, calms the heart like nothing else. The world, so far as we experience it, is stilled, hushed, and peaceful. The expansive white engenders a quiet hopefulness, and if a full moon is rising, our spirits can’t help but rise as well.dscf3114dscf3018Last weekend, we went out to gather a few gifts. On the way home, Phillip dropped me off at the state park near our home. The snow was falling and I was alone, walking around acres that supported a thriving community 1,000 years ago. I walked through the spirits of babies, mothers, fathers, athletes, leaders, gossips, and artists. Most, I expect, were what we’d call “good” people; I imagine there were also a few who upset others routinely, and perversely pursued ego gratification, just like people in our culture do.dscf3066dscf3060dscf3047The only signs they were here at all are several mounds and reconstructed “forts” marking where theirs existed, because scholars and scientists cared to do this and, at the time, our state supported them. The ancient community seemed to end rather abruptly, after thriving for 300 years, and archaeologists are still trying to figure out what happened. I wonder if they elected a Lord of Misrule.dscf3086dscf3076dscf3032I walked home musing about all those who walked this land for centuries, over a thousand years ago, and what it all meant. We have no records of them as individual personalities, just tools, jewelry, artifacts, and suppositions, but they were real; they lived and breathed and laughed, and worked, and played, and maybe walked in the snow when worry overtook them.dscf3077dscf3058dscf3095dscf3112Phillip and the pups met me, and we walked along the trail and over the river where the Aztalan people hunted and fished. We enjoyed Micky’s navigation of his first snowfall, and then the sweet grace of just being here and now and present to small joys lifted my heart.dscf2930dscf2993dscf2979Life is a flicker of light and then we’re a long time dead, and possibly, in a thousand years, forgotten altogether. The miracle of being here at all is far too precious to waste on worry, I know, especially when the possible nightmares that are keeping me awake are utterly out of my control to prevent.dscf2951What I can do is find my peace, speak my peace, and be my peace. What I can do is be present to all the beauty, and the joy, and the great love that lights my life, and not avert my eyes or attention from it to fret about bogus and hollow men in power. When their madness affects me, I’d rather meet it as one practiced in love, peace, joy, and presence, then as the Mistress of Worry and Fear.dscf3217Dying and being forgotten isn’t a problem; not having infused every day I lived with as much love, peace, and joy, as I believe we all should—now that’s sad. Light doesn’t win by cowering and hiding; light wins by shining.dscf3168

Bless your gatherings and partings during this season of hope.

Bless your giving and receiving, your traveling and nesting.

Bless your heart and its tender yearning,

Bless your mind: May it be free of worry,

And deeply nourished by cheerful thoughts and merry company.

Bless your actions and their congruence to your words;

Bless your words and their congruence to your heart.

May you be the Light you’re here to be, and shine in the darkness

So others may see.

Joy to you,

And to the world.

Love to you,

And to the world.

Peace to you,

And to the world.


© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without Catherine O’Meara’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors.

First Person, Present

A fullness of life surrounds and infuses Full Moon these days; I can almost hear the carbon dioxide-fueled photosynthesis occurring all around me. And taking in all the oxygen that the green life is sending out in return is intoxicating (or maybe it’s the wine we’ve been sharing on the back deck at day’s end)…I’m reminded, daily, that all of life, all of nature–which includes us, but in which we are not dominant–is neither good nor bad, but only sacred and blessed. The only response I can make is yes, thank you.

Our world is a nursery, over-spilling with new life: flowers, birds, insects, trees, fruits, and vegetables are being born everywhere. Fields have been plowed and seeds sown, nests are full and my gardens are overflowing (a sure sign it will be an autumn of thinning and replanting). For now, they throb with the buzzing bodies of bumble and honeybees. Swallowtails and monarchs flutter and chase among the gardens, and birds sing most of the day, into dusk.

Painted turtles have been wumbling down the driveway, scraping aside earth and digging little pockets for their eggs, and our friend and expectant father, the mallard drake, makes house calls every morning, checking-in on the nest.

The mystery that creates longer hours of sunlight but less time to accomplish everything I’d planned puzzles me, but naps help soothe the strain of the season’s higher math perplexities.

I continue to bike to London and back, most days. (That’s London, Wisconsin, about 4 miles north of Cambridge, and 25 miles west of Rome, in our dreamscape geography.) Life in the marshland and on the lake is just as opulent and full of grace.

This has been an amazing spring; heat and aridity may follow, but I can’t give energy to possibilities and dread when every moment is crammed with so much life. “Look at me,” says the world. Look here! And here! And here! And I think I could fall into this richness, this oxygenated greenness, and emerge on the other side, in some other Wonderland…

I try to be present to both the rising and falling of the year. “Now” is always my favorite time and as I get older, each new season astonishes me with its revelations. Each offers mystery and invites rituals; each stimulates creativity and inevitably, leads to silence.

A few years ago, at just this time of year and late in the day, I happened to be passing through the kitchen and glanced out the large windows facing west to see something magical happening on the lawn. A hatching was occurring, of insects so tiny and delicate that, as they ascended, the low, setting sunlight flashed through them and they became rising points of light. From the sky, hundreds of dragonflies appeared, swooping through the floating lights and consuming them, their own wings flashing and iridescent. The tiny lights continued to rise, the dragonflies to whirl and swirl through, feeding on them. Phillip joined me and we watched, for almost an hour, in silence.

Here we all are, so briefly, shining and consuming light, becoming light and feeding life in turn; how lovely to be part of the rhythm, this beautiful dance, around and around. Now is always my favorite season.


© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.