A friend asks, “How do we meet change?”
I reflect as I change the candles, tablecloth and kitchen towels from harvest colors of orange, olive green and gold to a subdued crimson. I enter the season slowly, so crimson comes before a bright cherry and cheerful red.
Perhaps some transition is tossed at us, or we are tossed – a hurricane, fire, loss, and other times, we move slowly through the shift, the change.
I’ve always felt each day of December deserves a special nod, a softer, loving pat, some bringing forth of transition to full appreciation of the dark which will then swing us back toward light, “young light” as my friend Jane calls it, and yet, in this moment, all feels young, tender, fragile.
I treat December gently, but today I recall that there’s also a tinge of memory of 2005 when I began chemotherapy the Monday before Thanksgiving. We retain memories and touch, like bread dough when it’s proofed and risen enough to be ready for the oven. We touch and the indentation comes up to meet us but not all the way, just enough.
It’s raining and I love the sound of rain as I read of soil, and how properly aerated, it holds water as a reservoir for growth.
From this article by Walter Jehne:
“Without organic matter, mineral particles are packed closely together, very dense, with little or no space in between. Now life comes along, actively breaks the rock down, feeds the soil biology, and leaves organic detritus in there, and we can think of that detritus as little bedsprings between the mineral particles: they act as cements and glues, so it gives them structural integrity, but it also creates a sponge, because as those bedsprings push the particles apart, suddenly there are spaces, in the soil, full of air, and the soil grows upwards as it expands. (We know that from archeology because you have to dig down to enter the past.)
By making this change, nature has had a profound effect on that soil. By adding nothing, it has created this matrix of surfaces and voids. It is a bit like a cathedral. By having lots of bricks, and the cements or glues that can hold them together, we can make a cathedral. Now, you don’t go to a cathedral to look at the bricks, you go there to get in awe about the spaces, the voids, the nothing.“
I pause to welcome this day, still dark, with some bricks of obligations to hold it together, but really what matters is the space, and there in the space is room for transition and change.