I sit on an lonely stone left beside the dusty trail that has become my sanctuary of late.
There is no sun in the overcast sky, and the wholeness of the clouds above me leaves me wishing for just a tiny gap in which to find some sunshine.
I inhale deeply and look around, studying the familiar unfamiliarity of this place. Familiar trees seem different here, as do the vivid colors that surround me. Birds sing the same song in a different key, and the sounds of the summer breeze seem different without the playful dry leaves I am used to.
As unfamiliar as this place is, I feel completely at home. As new as I am here, I feel like I have never been anywhere else.
I close my eyes and inhale this space. In the darkness, I notice something I had not noticed before—a scent that rises above the others. It’s a fragrance that takes my mind to distant times while firmly basking in the present moment.
I smell you. I feel you. And I know you are there.
My body reacts with a lone tear whose destination I don’t know. It’s just there, hanging in the ether with the memories, dancing in the air like we used to in times before the insanity set in—before the clouds came to hide our summer sun.
In the swirl of emotion where memory meets reality, tears are born.
In the moment when we know, in the moment when we regret, in the moment when we change the world just to go back in time to do it all over again, we find the truest essence of who we are. In the sadness we find our potential, and in the sorrow we can find our truest possibility.
We can be found in the darkness. If only we weren’t so afraid to go there.
Sometimes I don’t mean to visit there, reliving my youthful and not-so-youthful mistakes. Sometimes I don’t mean to remind myself of you. Sometimes it simply takes a moment of rest and a slight hint of something. A smell. A flower. A recognition of the empty space beside me. Sometimes it simply takes the notion that the emptiness could be filled. I hold a hand and there you are. A kiss brings you back to life. The taste of salty sweat brings back the sound of you in ecstasy.
Those memories in the darkness share the silence of my dreams, and I grow a bit in the keen awareness that life just hasn’t been the same without you.
I am okay with where I am, however. On this lonely trail I share with a few accepting souls, I’ve discovered such wonderful things. I have no fear of the darkness, and I readily accept the lessons to be learned there.
After all, the darkness is where we now meet, and the darkness is where I find the harmony I seek. I hear magical notes there, and every once in a while I discover a fragrance that sets my mind on a journey—not quite now and not quite then, but perhaps both at the same time.
In this life I’ve found that stillness is never quite still, and the miracle isn’t found in the nothing when doing nothing, but in the doing. I didn’t discover myself in the light when it was easy to miss the furniture and the walls. Instead, it was the darkness that helped me see. It was the stubbed toes and marks where the wall met my body that showed me what I’m made of.
I was truly found in the darkness. I’m a child of that darkness, and it raised me.
Today, I’m married to the light, even though I visit the darkness from time-to-time. It’s like going to a childhood home, and I’m only there to visit. I can laugh there even if unnerved, and I can love it all because I know the light has always been there, and I can return to her whenever I wish.
A back bend is a distortion. An inversion is nothing more that a practice outside our normal state. That’s why it feels good—why it helps us find a center.
Love doesn’t grow in the light or the darkness; it grows in the balance of the two. Love fears neither, and it is both in their glory. So I have no issue going there, and finding parts of myself long left behind, then returning to the light because it is my natural state of Being.
Walk there sometimes with me, and realize there is nothing to fear.
Own your place wherever you are, and know your power in the plush or rocky fields where you play. Just try, a little at a time, and see what you find.
You may discover something wonderful.
Author: Tom Grasso
Editor: Toby Israel