Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spiritual Practice

"Sometimes we lay our heads sideways on the water to look up at the skies and just gaze... ... The night sky and the sunrise and sunset in particular provide doorways for you to enter the greater realms of your being...  We know that the portals of the sky are opening. For that reason, and for their sheer beauty, we like to gaze up and indulge in a state of remembrance."
~The Dolphins, from The Dolphin Letters by Muriel Lindsay

Tonight I did something I've been intending to do for months... I turned off the TV, closed the computer, put down my novel, and went outside for the sunset. I took a five-minute drive from my house, up to the top of a hill (where new construction that I have loudly complained about brought roads and vistas previously not available) and stood watching as the earth silently turned just enough for day to meet twilight and burst into flames.

Ever since I read that bears, among other animals, stop what they are doing and turn toward the setting sun, I knew that I wanted to make this a part of my day... no, not just a part of my day, but a part of my spiritual practice. To consciously observe the sunrise and the sunsets; to be more in tune with nature; to go out after dark and commune with the stars. I do these things on vacation, especially if I am in a beautiful locale, near a beach, in the mountains... but why not as a part of my every day life?

Living alone after decades not alone, evenings are sometimes challenging. Not in a big way, (well, sometimes in fall or winter in a bigger way...) but if my aloneness wants to make itself known, it is always in the hours after dinner. And so, just in case, I make sure I have plenty of movies to fill the time; tv shows to fall into; work to do on the computer.. Things that distract me, and I realize, that take me away from myself. No wonder I feel alone. Tonight, when I got back home after the sunset, after time consciously with myself with nature, I found to my surprise that the last thing that I wanted was to turn on noise. I felt at home within myself. I sat on my patio, watched the sky turn from light gray to darker gray, listened to the water in the fountain, felt the breeze on my face, spied the first star... and it was enough... so much more than enough in fact. Just me and myself, the earth, air, sky, water. Peaceful, soothing, beautiful.