A Garden in the Night

Last night was a night of my soul, but not a dark one.

I am aware where true happiness lies and nowhere was that more evident than in the middle of a starlit, cool summer night dreaming in my garden.

I had commented to a friend during the day that my version of life was best summed up by Mathew 6:25-34 in sharp contradistinction to a summary I had read of a book called “Moonshots: Creating a World of Abundance”.

According to that book, it seems that a better world requires that I get up at 4 am every morning, become an “entrepreneur” and run something called a “for profit”.

Instead I lay in the dark and gave thanks that I was as far removed from such a dystopian nightmare as it is possible to get.

It had been a day of intense heat, such as I am not used to and have come to dread. 33% in the shade – nothing for Madrid or Texas no doubt, but enough to induce in me a sense of panic and claustrophobia. Enough to send me off to the beach and take a very unaccustomed John the Baptist.

By evening a coolness had spread, and the middle of the night found me sleeping in the garden. Dozing perhaps, dreaming certainly, meditating.

A sense of calm and gnosis crept over me. I heard a gentle murmuring all around me; I heard night sounds of animals I might have recognized by day, but whose voices were until then a mysterious closed book to me.

The over riding emotion was oneness. I wondered at one stage whether my mind was disintegrating along with my no longer young body. Perhaps my end was coming or was it my beginning? Regardless, it was neither harrowing nor joyous, just intensely peaceful. An overwhelming acceptance of what is. A strong grasp of the infinity all around me and the certain knowledge that all was somehow well, dissolved as I felt in the universal.

More properly speaking I was at the foothills of disintegration but such absorption was felt to be a progress, and achievement of some sort and not an ending.

Above all I was where I should be, where I belonged. I was nature, I was that vastness above. I was that haunting animal cry, I was the coolness of the night and its starry blackness.

There is yin and there is yang, it is said. There is no beauty without ugliness, no goodness without sin. Is that true I wonder? And if so can the whole come to be seen as beautiful anyway?

I think maybe the latter. Perhaps it is a question of acceptance, of letting go. And yet if you are yin I do not think you can survive in a world of yang. Not unless you have managed to transcend the physical and become pure spirit.

Where once I was prepared to try out the world portrayed in that book, to imagine that “for profit” and “entrepreneurship” was the way to go, that was all yang to my yin.

Even as a small child, at heart I realized my yingness but for so much of my life pretended I was yang. Instead of “for profit” my reality was the lilly. Instead of entrepreneurship, my soul was in truth a bird which did not wish to gather in barns. I did not wish to sew nor to reap.

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.

And thus in the middle of last night, in the cool and under the canopy of the stars I felt myself; as I am. I looked to the night sky and felt I am that. I heard the night owl cry and that too was me. The quiet susurration of distant waves, the gentle rustle of leaves and branches in a cool night wind. That too was me; I was that.

Do I wax too poetical, do I lose my meaning in a sea of fantasy. No, I think not. I was a part of reality last night and content to exist or not. If there was yin mixed in with yang, I was not seeing it. Or was I seeing a bigger picture altogether – the glory of yin and yang combined in an unblemished whole. I was bathed in a glorious unity and nothing seemed to matter. I did not seem to be body or earthbound, transcendence seemed somehow to have happened.

I do not intend to return.

7 Comments

  1. Striving for the achievement of a degree of equanimity in our lives is a noble undertaking, and seeking to balance the yin and the yang as far as it may be possible requires longevity in effort and in years generally. Your recent entries here have been particularly noteworthy in this regard and reading them has revealed a quality to your already compelling story that seems to indicate a truly productive and intriguing trend surrounding your approach to your subjects.

    Your garden universe seems delightfully pleasing even just in the reading of your words describing it, and I must report feeling somewhat envious of the degree of benefit you are experiencing as you consider how you previously may not have been focused on what possibilities existed within its boundaries. Nature informs us about ourselves unerringly if we remain open to its offerings, and seeing the extraordinary, in what may have previously seemed ordinary, reveals the advantages of considering the poetical view on occasion.

    It is my hope that you will continue to pursue the revelations which are possible in your explorations, and to share them with us often.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it has been and is and interesting journey. It becomes increasingly difficult for me to focus on much else, although the current heatwave here in South East England may have something to do with that. But these days I seem to see these same sort of reflections everywhere I go and in everything I do and think. Certainly I find greater peace and calm these days but as Ron Krunpos pointed out elsewhere, retirement (or perhaps semi retirement in my case) is an enormous benefit in this respect. I can see exactly why the tendency came about in India for certain retirees to give up everything and become mendicants!

      Like

  2. Much of Europe is in a heat wave, breaking records in some areas. Australia had its hottest summer ever a few months ago. Anyone who denies climate change doesn’t get out much.
    .
    The ‘wave’ in the U.S. is COVID-19, for which Trump was in denial in crucial early months. Better to have too much heat than too much virus.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fabulous post. Indeed the machine tells us that happiness comes from wealth, prosperity and an abundance material possessions (houses, cars, gadgets and savings), but true happiness comes when we have none of those things and marvel only at what nature provides, serenity and peace and a sense that we are all one, a 7.9 billion piece jigsaw, still an unopened box for some, but a completed puzzle for others.

    Liked by 1 person

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