We have arrived again at a place of darkness. I’m not speaking figuratively. It’s just dark outside! Because of time change and the approaching winter my drive home from work is enveloped in darkness. The Denver sun sets at 4:49 PM today.
I feel much resistance to this annual cycle, preferring long days of sunshine and light. Since I can’t control the movements of the earth around the sun, this is truly one of those times where resistance is futile. And I am reminded of the line in the serenity prayer to “accept the things I cannot change.”
But in thinking about this idea, I am wondering what it might look like to embrace darkness rather than grudgingly accept it. That’s the mindfulness focus for the week. In the garden, darkness and winter provide plants with a time of rest and slowing down of biological processes. We live in a culture that seems to demand constant activity, but I could take a cue from my garden and find my own ways to slow down a bit to create more time to rest and recharge. The darkness and cold also are a time for seeds to hunker down until spring. I could take this time for contemplation about the ideas and projects I’d like to bring to life in the spring. And If the darkness drives me indoors, I can be thankful that I have more time for reading, writing, baking, and origami.
Since the invention of electric lights, this season has been easier for humans. But being attentive to the darkness might mean choosing to experience the dark rather than hanging out in artificial light. We can take walks in the dark, watch the stars, or wrap up in a blanket on the patio and listen to the sounds of the night. This week’s focus is about exploring ways to embrace the lack of sunshine with open arms and being curious about what we might discover.
For more information on my weekly mindfulness focus works click here.