What is the light
That you have
Shining all around you?
Is it chemically derived?
– The Flaming Lips
“I grew up in the middle of nowhere,” I like to say. “Twelve miles to the nearest gas station.”
And one of the things I like about visiting where I grew up is the complete absence of light pollution.
When it’s dark, it’s pitch black. On a cloudless night, you can see the stars so clearly, they seem within your grasp.
But growing up in the middle of nowhere made me want to be anywhere else.
I was fascinated by pulsating city lights, cities that never sleep, and nightlife.
What do people DO at night? I wondered. Because there sure as hell isn’t anything to do here.
In my bed, under my parents’ roof, I would press the heels of my hands onto my eyelids until I saw lights that I imagined into a cityscape.
My own magical Oz. Things were happening there in my urban illusion of rods and cones. That’s where I wanted to be.
So I moved to a real city to see for myself. And I immersed myself in the night.
But something wasn’t ok. The night became more like a void.
It took a while to realize what I was missing.
So I did a 180 and immersed myself in the day.
Except, I wasn’t exactly living in the day. Daytime happened again and again out there–outside.
I was sitting in an office under the hum of fluorescent lights. All. Day. Long.
I wanted to live differently.
I longed to gaze upon the leaves of happy little plants.*
If I really wanted to, I wanted to stick my fingers in the soil and enjoy the damp coolness.
If I really wanted to, I wanted to read a book under a tree.
If I really wanted to, I wanted walk around barefoot and simply feel the breeze.
I endured. I moved even further inland, AWAY from the windows. I moved into middle-earth.
But my need for light: in the right amounts, from the right sources, at the right times….bolstered my discontent.
And then I discovered yoga.
Yoga talks about a different kind of light: The light of consciousness, of life, of clarity and Truth.
It’s a different kind of light because it’s a part of the human experience, but it’s also the same kind of light because…you know…All One!**
And then I discovered Ayurveda and–oh boy. Yep. More light.
This time, it’s not only illuminating light, it also has the ability to transform with heat.
Too much of it and you get burned. Too little of it and you can’t see, or do, much of anything.
You can taste this fire on your tongue, and it doesn’t just come from hot sauce and peppers.
It’s all there in this system of simplicity and complexity.
If you really want to, go dip your finger into the soil and walk barefoot outside. Do what it takes to get some clarity–because you’re going to need it. For everything.
The light in me honors the light in you. Namasté!
*Or perhaps I share plant-humanoid Zhaan’s orgasmic relationship with solar rays….I looked really hard for a video clip but you’re just going to have to read about it
** Yes, that’s a Dr. Bronner’s reference, you’re welcome.