Over the last weeks I’ve been in planes, trains and automobiles in several countries. I love to travel and see with my own eyes, touch with fingers, smell and taste other places. There’s no other education quite like it.
Every flight holds at least one moment that takes my breath away. Sometimes I notice it at the end, when it’s been peaceful and I’ve rested a bit. Sometimes it’s early on, when take-off is easy and we lift ever so gently and coast toward the clouds.
Today, we arrived at the airport in Hamburg in a light drizzle. Grey. Cold. A typical Northern European January morning, I’d guess. The security check left me feeling like I should be able to at least call the woman who scanned and checked me by her first name, but that’s another story. I had no idea what would happen next.
We settled in and waited for our flight, and were finally allowed to board. After stashing the luggage and getting out my book, I settled in as comfortably as is possible on a tiny commuter plane. We taxied the runway in grey mist and finally felt the lift of the wheels as they disconnected from the ground. Smoothly as glass, we lifted up into the clouds. It was one of the best take-offs I could recall.
I was sitting in my place of gratitude (I’m not always a good air passenger) preparing to read when we burst through the clouds and into bright, gorgeous sunlight. The clouds floated beneath us as if we’d been cast on an ocean of white.
I spent the rest of the flight staring out onto that ocean. I was reminded of what it’s like in the dark moments to finally see the light again. I was reminded that the light is always there, just beyond the darkness.
Light, you see, isn’t always external. We carry it with us. In us. Sometimes we feel as if it’s dark because we’ve lost sight of our own beauty. We’ve been dimmed by holding on to what doesn’t serve us or taking ownership of things that aren’t ours. We’ve smothered our light because of the mistaken notion that we can’t all shine.
But it’s time to come out of that darkness.
Consider the word Namaste. When we say that, we are honoring that place of light in the person to whom we speak. We are also honoring it in ourselves, because when we are in that space together we are one.
One of my intentions in this new year is to stay out of the dark. To keep my eyes open to the light of others. To feel the light I carry. To share it, so it shines brighter.
May we recognize the light in ourselves and others in this new year. May we always remember that our own lights won’t dim, but that we’ll all shine brighter when we choose to share, accept and honor that space of light in each other.
Happy New Year.