The light just changed. Did you see it?
I noticed the shift at 5:10pm on Thursday, August 23rd. The evening sun, no longer a red flush of summer, now sets in colors more akin to rose and gold. This oh-so-subtle alteration that comes in mid-August is accompanied by the potential for my mood to tank—which is why I pay such close attention. So when I stepped out of the office and looked up at the glint between the leaves, my first thought was, “Oh shit. Here we go again.”
This week has been difficult. The only consistent block of time I can carve to write is at 5am, which is tricky. My body does best when it sleeps until 6. So even though I’m adding in work that fulfills a part of my soul’s deep longing, my physical and spiritual reserves feel depleted. I’m skimming the surface of life.
Which has been true for awhile.
In response to my acute awareness of depletion, I made small adjustments. I requested dream wisdom and spirit animals started showing up, bringing along messages of trust. I noticed the trees again and their ripe summer foliage. I cut Friday’s run short because I was tired and wanted to walk, and savor a crisp morning. And I gifted myself with a luxurious asana practice—something that has also suffered as a result of trying to write at 5am.
I also noticed an insidious emotional habit that has nothing to do with depression and everything to do with grasping. Becoming aware of that, accepting that, and then miraculously having the trigger removed from my life has been terrifically freeing.
But here’s what I know. The trigger will return. It will come in a different package but it will come back. Like the cycle of seasons. Like the change in the light. Like the busyness that causes me to live on the surface of life.
And that’s ok because life is a labyrinth not a point to point race. The center remains and I move in and around it. One path tends to mirror another I’ve traveled before. If I’ve been paying attention I start to notice the helpful and not helpful tendencies I carry along the way. And if I’m really paying attention, I can let go of some of the less helpful tendencies not by forcing them out, but by loving them along the way.
When I remember that I am loved—by God, by my family, by my friends—no matter how many bad habits I am living, no matter how mercurial and painful my moods, no matter how many cycles I am repeating, I can step into the waning August light and say, “Here we go again. Now, let’s dive in.”