Monday, July 13, 2020

Four days of Quiet

Living up in the Amatole Mountains in the Eastern Cape, we often encounter nature in a more personal and rather intimate fashion than I have experienced in more urban environments. For the last four days we did not have any electricity, though we do have running water fed from a nearby stream. Consequently, I am behind in some important near-term goals that could positively impact my future, and thus I cannot spend as much time describing this morning thoughts as I would have. There are also some interesting jewels of thoughts that arose during my four day Sabbatical during which I was reading a book of Chassidic tales, mixed with a deep dive into the some of the underlying mathematics and thus philosophical ideas at the base of fractals and the Mandelbrot set. Fascinating stuff.

But, to remain present for now, the thought this morning was regarding the feeling of sitting last night, once again, in the shadowy flickering lights of candles and firelight, unwashed and silent. The night sky clear and full of twinkling stars, deep darkness whispering all around. I was still, but waiting. And this morning, with electricity coursing through our home, revelling in the feeling of hot water cleansing me after four days, and thought of all those who are cannot wash when they need to, and how it is to live under that duress.

I am humbled and grateful for the blessing that I have in my life, and my prayers and thoughts go out to those who do not have this blessing of water, and comfort.

We say prayers and blessing for the sunlight and the moon, the seas and the water that sustains us, the food that nourishes and the love that surrounds us. But we do not bless the light that comes from this power that we have named electricity. It is, in fact, a "greater" light than that that has come from the sound. Some say it is ancient sunlight. It provides us power, and at present, we can no longer survive without it. 

Once the lights came on again, what did strike me was the difference in the electrical light versus the firelight. The former radiated its light outwards, illuminating all in its path, whereas the latter, fire light, was much more seductive in its interplay of dark and light, and drew one in to its flitting center.

Have a wonderful day.

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