The birds sing their farewells to the sun as it slowly sinks below the ridge tops. Shadows begin to muster for their nightly gathering as the frogs warm up to voice their hymns to the night. Darkness is held momentarily at bay as the last golden rays float lazily across the valleys. An ever-cooling breeze brings with it the somnolent sweetness of honeysuckle and the faintest whiffs of woodsmoke from a distant fire. It is the time of day that begs for stories to be told, for the voices of the blessed dead to be heard, and for the living to remember that which has passed.
Evening twilight has always been my favorite time of day but it’s rare that I take the time to watch the light fade from the sky and open myself to the stories wanting to be told. There are always other priorities, other obligations that must be met. It seems that the more life becomes filled with things to accomplish and do, the further away I move from those things that I find most fulfilling. I have had a tendency to take on projects that aren’t my passion – whether out of a sense of obligation, duty, or just a need to be able to check things off of a to-do list. I broke from this pattern of behavior over the winter, as my focus had narrowed to recovery, rest, and very little else. Now that I’m getting back to old routines, I find myself again getting wrapped up in the minutiae of to-do lists and projects. As I do so, the same old frustrations creep back into my thoughts.
Much of my discontent with my online life springs from this same source. As I mentioned in my last post, my first priority was tackling those spaces over which I do not have significant control. While I may occasionally check in or lurk to read interesting posts, I will be mostly absent from those spaces. Social media will probably also go the way of the dinosaur. My plan is to continue this blog, assuming I can find both the inspiration and energy to write posts. If priorities must be made, posting here will need to take a distant second to activities that are directly related to my practice. It’s a fair trade-off, I think, as it’s hard to write about my path if I’m not actually following it.
This evening, I found myself sitting on a westward facing porch at sunset. In the fading amber light, fireflies danced and shadows gained substance. The living drank toasts to those who had gone before and drew strength from retelling old stories. The dead, in their turn, whispered of days past, ensuring that their memories will not soon be forgotten. In these moments, I am most alive, most aware of the path under my feet. I would not trade moments like this for all the screen time in the world.