Saturday, July 22, 2017
Hopeful Thinking - Saturday, July 22, 2017 - Sunflowers Follow the Light
Occasionally I begin writing a column with a question to which I don’t yet know the answer. When I do this, I find the answer seems to unfold itself as I write. It is an act of faith that the answer will be there once the question is so boldly asked as to set it in print. But we must then remain open to how that answer will arrive.
One of my favorite old spiritual jokes describes a man on his roof amid the waters of a great flood. He has prayed to God to save him, but sends away a rowboat and then a helicopter because he expects God will accomplish the task by means of the miraculous not the physical. Be sure you see miracles in rowboats. You never know from whence they came. Be also careful with your expectations. Light comes best where there is no obstruction (read: expectation).
There’s an old bit of flower lore which states if you seek a truth unknown to you, put a sunflower under your pillow and truth should be revealed the next day. I like this thought. Especially because it’s essentially a prayer for light; for illumination. And once you ask for light, light is exactly what you’ll get. But again, be careful what you wish for.
If it is a truism that when we deliberately face the light we feel better, then why not do it on purpose? What if we could get around the edges of our mental barriers and inner confusion about the state of our lives by simply facing some light? I mean this quite literally.
It can be as simple as choosing to orient ourselves for a moment in the direction of even so much as a lit candle just for the sake of what it represents of the bigger picture. We usually can’t manage to get out of our own way enough to really find the root of our problems. So start small. Ask for light. Notice it everywhere. Gradually light will become your predominant experience. Both literally and figuratively. It’s not that there wasn’t any light before. It’s that you see it all now. Instead of the light just going to the back of your brain, it’s getting into you.
We’re always dealing with the surface issues. But they are only symptoms of ‘the problem.’ They are not the problem itself. Asking for light gets underneath and around the things we don’t even know are obstructing our view of it. It reaches out from under the edge of our umbrellas to feel the rain itself.
Turn your face to the sun and allow its warmth to soak into your skin. Feel it moving into you, through your veins, into your very bones. You might not notice how it impacts your life. It’s not a pill you can swallow. But the more you do it on purpose, the better it will be. I promise.
Sunflowers really do turn their blossoms to face the sun as it moves across the sky. What do they know that we do not? What do they feel that we might also experience for ourselves? Orient yourself to the light, and perhaps you too will know.
Posted by Wil Darcangelo at 12:00 AM