Still Shining

As my symptoms linger, shielding me from active participation out in the world, I ponder the natural world as it nears the end of this winter season. For the most part, it too lingers in what seems a dormant state.  To the passing eye some trees stand lifeless, gray and stark against the winter sky. Scraps of colorless remnants from another season cling to the mother plant and flutter as though recalling the dance of life. Everywhere one looks (except for the cultivated and tidied yards), dead branches felled by winter storms have begun the slow sure journey of dissimulation. Even as new life is finding its way, and a closer look shows promising glimpses of tender green, my eye still goes to the starkly beautiful decline of a dead pine branch – its cones illuminated by the wintry light. My heart embraces the last frail dance of acacia pods that have long since dropped their seeds. Even these, to me, still shine.

           What about me? To others, looking for an obvious and lively outward show of health – and a pleasing contribution to the interactive dance – my dance must seem to decline, must seem to reject the life they love to live. They do not see that I still shine, that the outward illness they bemoan as going on far too long is actually my winter dance. Here in my room, my bodily subsidence is allowing germination. Here in my stillness, I embrace the interior dance.  If my shine must be kept secret for a while, so be it. I know what I know and trust the light that illumines my current dance.

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