First day of the sun-returning year.
Spinning through universes unnoticed – our tiny earth revolving around an insignificant star. Seen from the imagined whole we are immeasurably small and of less than momentary duration. And yet the cycles keep coming – keep spinning – keep dancing. This ancient pirouette. Born yesterday – from stars’ devastation. Exploding universes that are mother and father to us all.
Everything is used. Each insignificant part is essential and is enlisted in the in the current of all. Willing or not – each and every one of us will be used up fully. All our dreams and all our fears. All our successes and all our failures. All our friends and all our enemies. We are not separate -- not from ourselves -- not from each other. Not from the wild immeasurable whole.
And someday soon, the beneficent flow of this cosmic dance will require each of us to give up our borrowed bits of the universe – the elements and energies that have temporarily coalesced into the dust dervishes we call ourselves. Every last particle and intention must be returned. In sadness beyond measure we must loose all we have and be released back into the belly of God - our primordial freedom.
This dark morning is warm enough here in New England to be unsettling. The softness of the moist air on my cheeks makes me fearful of rising oceans and melting ice caps and grand catastrophe. But somehow cheerfully undeterred, I circumambulate the Temple – stopping to light a stick of incense to the granite Buddha who kindly watches over it all. The white night clouds are flayed by the dark wind and effortlessly part to reveal a momentary star, then hide the treasure once more.
I stop in the darkness behind the Temple to speak silently with the bareness of the winter trees – trusting their thousand branching arms that gently waving along with mine.
(Painting by Hakuin)