Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at the Beach

For Christmas Eve, Chris and I went to the Sound and sat in meditation for an hour from 4:20 to 5:20 as the sun set.  It was a glorious, spectacular display of ever-changing beauty.  I invoked the fellowship of Quaker Meeting in Richmond (they were meeting at the same time) and reveled in the gorgeous display in the clouds and on the water.  Grief over my father's death two days before and worries about what was to come crossed through my mind, but I chose to replace those thoughts with awareness of the beauty and sacredness of the moment.

Written on Christmas morning:
Right now I am watching pure beauty unfold as the sun rises over the dunes in front of me.  I see a sliver of orange light at the edge of a slender purple cloud.  The sky above it is beginning to take on shades of neutral, then green, then brilliant aqua then light cerulean.  I have no shade for the green among my paints - it's the same hue as was in the sunset yesterday.  Birds by my window, many of them, awaken to partake in the feast they can now see arrayed before them.

Wisps of clouds drift through the horizontal sky.  Small puffs up high reflect the orange glow beginning to ascend over the horizon, purple on the top where they still reflect the night just passed.

These moments between day and night and night and day hold such magical beauty, such vivid displays of color and intensity.  Perhaps transitions are such - birth and death seem to be equally full of richness and an awareness of the Divine.  How else to explain the infinite variety of exquisite?  One simple sunrise is more satisfying than the entire stable of Oscar-winning movies since The Academy began their awards.  And such promise each one holds.  A fresh start to a new day.  Clean, clear, washing everything with the brilliant glow of the almost infinite power of the sun.  How logical for our ancestors to have worshiped the sun!

Even on overcast days, the sun offers a glow through the grey, a hope of beauty, and, always, Light.  Light that illumines all things and displays the Truth of them for all to see.  Light I hope to shine onto the sadness and grief present in my life right now.

The sun is rising.  I can no longer look at it - its glare would hurt my eyes, so direct and bright has it become on its journey to illumine our entire world.  It casts a pink/orange glow on the large white house in front of me, standing sentinel over the dunes.  The sky is taking on its daytime blue, tinged only slightly by green now.  The puffs of clouds have changed to light yellow underneath, their grey more green than purple.  The orange cast to the horizon has been dulled to pale blue, almost neutral, by the sun's brilliance.  The powerful yellow white orb has wiped out the quiet intense colors of dawn to shed its stronger light on the world.

It feels too direct, too bright in this moment as it shines its beam directly into this room, onto this bed, into my eyes, casting a strong shadow through the railings of the deck.  I am beginning to feel the heat of the rays on my face.  I notice the parallelogram patterns of sun and shadow against deck floorboards and the salty residue shining almost opaque in the window.  The shadows from the rails allow me more visibility through the glass to the outside world.

The sun is an inch above the dunes.

Fear of situations in my daily life intrudes.  My stomach feels the rush of adrenalin.

I return to the scene outside the window.  More beauty is there for the awareness than anything I could imagine in my mind, especially these days as my mind runs amok with worry and despair.

Perhaps this Christmas is about the birth of a deeper God-consciousness within me.  Perhaps it is the chance to live more aware, more in the moment, with greater gratitude for and awareness of God's presence.  A complete surrender to his Will, complete Trust in divine goodness, and Trust that joy and happiness are more present when I open my heart fully to God.

The sun is shining brightly on my face now, warming it, causing me to keep my eyes downcast so I don't burn my retinas.  Maybe that was the metaphor for God in the Bible - the Israelites weren't supposed to look directly at God - perhaps he was embodied in the sun for them.  That makes sense to me.

God, bless us as we go through the day.  Help me feel the ultimate gift of your presence.  Help me retain the knowledge of your presence as I am confronted with my fear and sadness.  Blessed be.

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