Daily Practice: A Weekly Reminder

Autumn is a season of amazing contrasts. One could spend much of a day simply watching the sky. The colors of the clouds – from white to gray-brown to gray to dark deep blue-gray – all can be present at the same time. And when sunlight illumines red and yellow trees against the dark clouds – it is often breathtakingly beautiful. From cool rainy days to hot sunny days, as trees seem to turn colors overnight. Not to mention the sun on the trees against the clouds, which sometimes quickly turns to hail, which turns to sheets of rain, which eventually becomes a drizzle.

‘There is a deep kindness at the heart of everything,’ wrote John O’Donohue. I love that idea, yet the contrast with what seems like immense destructiveness – a collective insanity, a growing instability – is stark. I remind myself of the ying-yang symbol of Daoism, which illustrates the constant presence of and movement between dark and light, life and death, evil and good – all always present and interwoven.

Every day is unique; its unfolding cannot be slowed nor can its path be predicted. And, we always have the choice to begin again, to be open to the unfolding, to let ourselves be carried and to bring our best selves and highest ideals to whatever comes our way. And so may we greet each day: the clouds, the rain, the light, the colors, the beauty, the presence of evil and good. May we be thankful for the breath which is given to us again and again.