It’s 10:35 pm on New Year’s Eve, 2010.
It’s almost 2011.
This is supposed to mean something. The end of a year and the beginning of another. But for some reason, this year the movement from one year to another doesn’t seem so clear to me. Life feels much more fluid than what the clock and calendar might indicate. The systems we humans have created to structure this world seem so obviously contrived.
I’ve been noticing lately just how much is made up in our world.
Take today, for instance. I was sitting with Jeff outside on the veranda at the Inn at Spanish Bay. We were having lunch in front of the fire pit, gazing out at the ocean. Just then, a family came walking out of the hotel and sat down near us. They were all jabbering away in a language I couldn’t understand. I think it was a Slavic language. I had NO clue what they were saying. Suddenly it struck me just how much it’s all made up. It’s arbitrary. I mean here were these people speaking a language they obviously understood, but the words meant nothing to me. Nothing.
I looked around at the surrounding scenery and thought to myself, “The birds and trees and ocean don’t have a clue either. Life is just happening, regardless of what language is being spoken, regardless of what day it is, regardless of whether it its 2010 or 2011. It’s only us human beings that seem to care about dates and languages and all.
And then I realized that I am moving more to the rhythm of things than to the calendar. I’m moving more to the rhythm of the seasons and the moon. I’m listening to something deeper within me, something that’s telling me when it’s time, and that doesn’t seemed to be aligned with the calendar right now.
Sometimes this throws me off, because I feel out of sync with the ‘culture’. And I feel in sync with something else. I can’t tell you with clear words what it is. I just know it is a felt sense, a rhythm of the seasons, an intuition, a palpable intelligence that doesn’t pay attention to the calendar.
In some loose way the calendar follows this intelligence, following the flow of the months. But the end of the year is arbitrary, is it not?
It feels as though moving between these two is important. The feminine is about symbols and signs, rhythms and moons, and flow. The masculine is linear, structured and staccato. Coming into balance means bringing these two together. Learning to listen to my internal rhythms, to what I sense in the unseen, to what I know as wisdom, and bringing that into a focused and clear intention and direction in life.
I know that even in the first days of this new year, we will still be in the dark days of winter, still spending time within ourselves. The days are still short and the nights long. While we are moving towards spring, winter has really just begun. There is newness, and yet much of what is happening is happening down in the dark where light has not yet shone.
What feels important in these moments is to remember that while we humans have created this world of structure, of language, of calendars and deadlines, there is another world from which we came, and in which we still live. It doesn’t follow these delineated lines. It doesn’t speak in words. It communicates in a completely different language, a language in which we all can understand each other, even if we have no clue what each others’ words mean.
As I witnessed this family today, the family whose language I could not understand, I watched their interactions. At one point, the little boy began to whine when his older brother was mean to him. Then his Mother began to comfort him, taking her head and holding it close to his. His sounds changed from whining to a kind of cooing as she whispered in his ear. This language was clear. I understood what was happening, even if I didn’t know their words.
There is a commonality we all have, even in the midst of our diversity. We come from one family, and we are still this one family. This world from which we came still weaves itself amidst the tight and contracted world we interact in on a day-to-day basis.
May we all remember this world, finding our way again to this place where we are not tethered to a clock, nor chained to some abstract ladder of worth. May we find our own rhythm and hear our internal wisdom.
Happy New Year. Happy New Way.