Light is returning.
Ok, I know it is slow. During the bright days of summer, we barely notice that daylight is leaving minute by minute. It begins slipping away June 20th at summer solstice. Slowly, almost imperceptibly our days become shorter. Then we shift to daylight savings time in autumn and darkness envelopes us.
Now with every passing day another minute of daylight returns. On January 5th we will gain six minutes from December 21st when the winter solstice happened.
But who is counting?
In the summer months, we are surrounded by dazzling colors. My garden pallet is awash in pinks, reds, oranges, blues, yellows, and tremendous shades of green. Sunlight abounds.
My geranium plant filled the second story window box. Her pink blooms flow over the top and down the side of the box. This makes it clear why it is called a Cascading Geranium. It is the only plant I brought in from my yard to overwinter. I could not let her die out there in the cold. Even though, I know there will be others to buy in the spring.
This plant, now situated in a living room window, is a promise that the light is coming back. All that is colorless and frozen will burst forth in a profusion of color. The sun will return. I will return to my garden.
The geranium is now cutback and has a few tender green shoots that reach for the sun. Each leaf knows exactly where to aim to capture the light. I feel that same place inside of me as I search for the light.
We each have that same place inside of us. And in these winter months in the northern hemisphere the power of light is so evident. When we lean to the light, we are leaning towards that source.
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin was the first person to earn a PhD in astronomy at Radcliffe-Harvard. In her doctoral thesis of 1925, she lays out the chemical composition of stars. It led to the scientific understanding and poetic assertion that we are made of the same “stuff “as stars.
Modern day Astrophysicist Karel Schrijver, and his wife Iris Schrijver, professor of pathology at Stanford University, are deepening our understanding of the relationship of the human body and stars. In a recent National Geographic article they said, “Everything we are and everything in the universe and on Earth originated from stardust, and it continually floats through us even today. It directly connects us to the universe, rebuilding our bodies over and again over our lifetimes.”
About 40,000 tons of stardust continues to be dumped onto Earth every year. It falls on the ocean, in my garden and all of us. We once again become the stuff of stars.
What does this mean for we earthlings?
This is what it means to me. In a time of great division, it is a potent reminder that we are all created of the same stuff. We are each in this great dance of unfolding, along with stars and planets.
Too frequently, we place labels, political or religious on others or ourselves. Labels limit. They capture only a small definition of who we are. This information reminds me that we are bigger than any of these labels. What connects us to each other, and the universe is in the very cells of our body.
We are united at a cellular level.
When things are missing, we see how much we value them. I miss sunlight. I also miss unity. My prayer is that as the sun returns so might a sense of unity. Might we begin to once again see that we are all made of the same stuff?
Come spring, I will take my geranium plant back to the flower box where stardust can once again fall upon her.
I will thank her for reminding me what it means to connect with the light….
Inside of you
Inside of me
Inside of everything