New Year, New Cycle of Life

By January 10, 2023July 31st, 2023Inspiration
New Year

The Yin-Yang of Seasons

In the northern hemisphere, this time of year represents the seeds of sunlight buried in the most lightless pockets of earth, so that within the darkest time of the year, we are given the promise of the light. 

In the southern hemisphere, it is the opposite, as if to say that in the heart of the sun’s full bloom, there is a seed of darkness, of return inwards. The exchange of energies from inner to outer, outer to inner, is linked like a yin-yang symbol. 

Seeds of Light and Seeds of Darkness

In the darkness, we might see, if we’re lucky, the seeds of light. It takes extra faith to look around in times of fruitlessness, and imagine what seeds are buried around and within us. 

When past fruits are gone, we grieve, mourn the flowering, the lost fullness. But still we are always left with something. What did our last fruits give us? What did the loss of them give us? 

Fruits are full of seeds. Even after they’re gone, they leave us with something for our future. It takes extra levels of hope to see how a such a little lightseed has a whole orchard inside it, a lush forest.

Life is a Reclamation Project

When I was living nearby and working at Villa Kali Ma in person, I volunteered at a place called Coastal Roots Farm. I remember one day being put to work in the food forest, where they were rehabilitating a piece of land through permaculture. 

It was full of toxic residue from construction materials, and it was dry, hard, barren, and poisoned. They told me it would take seven years to rehabilitate the land. 

At the time, seven years sounded like a long time. Because by nature I am caught in the moment, my struggles and joys, I can lose track of the bigger progress. Now seven years have passed since that day of volunteering in the food forest.

Nature’s Patience

Day in, day out, the food forest, the trees, the earth worms, the chickens, the farmers, and the plants have been doing their slow work. Each turn of the earth, they do a small, important act of returning a toxic piece of land back to the arms of the rest of nature.

This makes me wonder what slow but important I, you, we, may have all been doing, in ways so hard to recognize in the moment. 

Have we been slowly improving the terrain, have we been working through the hard knots, breaking down what is ossified, old and inorganic? 

Have we been dismantling the artificial, have we been incinerating what hard, black, recalcitrant structures have been keeping us cramped in unhappy positions for so long? 

I believe that I have, even though the pace feels geologic and my impatience runs hot and high every day, wanting to run like the wind, not move like earthworms through the soil and the slowness. 

Journal Questions for Ushering in a New Cycle

Wherever you are, you may like to take some time to reflect, with the patience of nature, on what your life has been this last year. Consider the last seven years – the time it takes for nature and humans working together to rehabilitate half a city block of poisoned land.

How have you slowly moved from darkness to light to darkness to light again, and what has your movement accomplished, in the slow, fair way that nature does? What have you reclaimed, what have you rebalanced? 

May these questions guide you into new blooms. 

What am I grateful for?

What do I acknowledge about myself and my journey this past year, these past seven years?

What has been positive, that I can truly approve of and celebrate?

What do I honestly, truthfully need to let go of, release, say goodbye to?

What open topics do I surrender to God/Source/Spirit/Nature, for rebalancing into the heart of oneness?

What burdens still rest on my shoulders, that I have not yet found a way to complete or give over? What parts feel hopeless, unchanging, that I could name, to validate my experiences more lovingly?

What has changed, within or around me? Can I see the earthworm-paced transformation of the soil of my life? What has been broken down, removed entirely, or turned into rich fluffy soil? What is still here? 

What new sprouts, saplings, or entire trees grew up in this time? What has nature given me, between her balance of dark and light? Can I see what design she may have had for me? What is still here in me that’s green and true, in spite of all that has changed? What pieces of me endure? 

What do I wish to call in, if it should be aligned with what’s best for All? What seeds feel exciting, beautiful, desired by me? What makes me perk up, smile, feel my heart again, feel like dancing? What newness waits for me, still hazy but full of summer lights? 

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