You’re in my eyes.
How else could I see light?
You’re in my brain.
This wild joy.
If love did not live in matter,
how would any place have
any hold on anyone?
Translated by Coleman Barks
A delicate pattern of lacy forms covered the pathway. Wavy lines of all thicknesses connected varying sizes of triangles, hearts, and rectangles. As a breeze picked up, these shapes shifted and moved as though they were dancing across the earthy floor.
Had I gone for my walk at my usual time early in the day, I would have missed this joyful interplay of the noonday light with the tree branches and leaves. It had been grey and overcast that morning, so the path would have a been a quiet stretch of brown soil and twigs. A clearing of the clouds had turned this brown quietness into a storybook of the mystical, intricate web of existence.
The trees’ summertime crowns full of leaves revealed the presence of the otherwise invisible air as it moved those leaves. The movement allowed the light to shine and show itself through the open spaces between the shadows of forms. The ground held the silent interchange of the air and the light while hinting of the hidden latticework of the tree roots below.
Within the trees and their dappled light, I felt my own mortal interdependence with the worldly elements. I felt grateful for divine luminosity quietly shining through the thicket of impatience, persistent curiosity, and other busy patterns of my mind. All seemed to be held by love.
Beyond the treed area the path opened into a clearing. While the day had begun overcast, ahead in the clearing was pure, unhindered light.
This short practice supports awareness of the grace of light.
- Lightly shake out each of your limbs.
- Then, sit in a comfortable seated position. (If you are in a chair, please place the soles of your feet on the floor.)
- Slowly and gently invite ease into your face, shoulders, hands, and breath.
- Still seated, gradually reach your arms out to your sides and then upward into a V-position. Breathe deeply.
- Then, slowly lower your arms and bring your hands in front of your chest. Open your palms as though you were ready to gather water from a running faucet.
- Pause here for four breaths. As you pause, imagine a soft, gentle light flowing into your palms.
- Then, imagine you are slowly bathing yourself in light.
- For example, gather light in your palms and then lightly sweep hands over your face and throat. You might also gently stroke down each arm and leg, and across the front and sides of your torso.
- As you do this, imagine your skin is absorbing the light.
- When finished, pause and imagine the light is settling into every cell in your body. Invite your hands to rest in any position that is comfortable.
- Silently say “thank you for the ever-presence of light.”
Transition Back into Your Day—
- Move in any way that feels natural. Perhaps allow your arms to move like limbs of a tree swaying in the wind and receiving the light. If comfortable, smile.
- When you are ready, return to your day, full of the grace of light.
This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 48, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library. The practice is an edited excerpt from Our Inherited Wisdom: 54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry by Kate Vogt, page 254-255. HEARTH is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2022.