Tuesday, June 10, 2014
As we near the Summer Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere I continue to find myself marveling each day about how vivid the world appears to me now. Some of this is naturally due to the fact that we are now in the brightest time of the year. The days are long and the sun is high in the sky. The intensity of daylight is nearly as high as it will be all year long. And yet this is the first time the Earth has gone around the sun in which I have felt truly and completely awake and alive as we near the first official day of Summer.
Sometimes when I gaze down a street or look at the brilliant green foliage (made possible by a very wet spring) of the trees I almost have to squint because the illumination coming from the sky above feels so intense. I have commented numerous times previously here in my blog how the world suddenly appears to somehow be more three dimensional than it ever appeared to be before. How the world could indeed become more three-dimensional than it already is strikes me as an apparently bizarre idea to hold in mind. And yet it’s clear to me that something very profound has happened to me. The world appears to have more depth, more texture, more subtlety, more everything than it ever has before. Unless the laws of physics that define the world outside my body have literally changed it’s quite obvious that the change I see outside of myself is because my own perception has changed.
What is all the more amazing to me is that I have this feeling that my eyesight is somehow continuing to improve. The last time it was measured it was 20/17. Is it possible it has become even better? It certainly is possible. But is it happening? I’m intrigued to find out. As the days, weeks and months pass since last summer it seems my own vision is only growing sharper and sharper.
Throughout my own life I have read stories of people experiencing profound healing that was completely unexpected. I’ve heard stories of people going into remission from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses when all the doctors were adamant that the health of the person in question was beyond repair. I’ve heard of people walking again who were never expected to walk again. I’ve heard of parents performing feats of strength beyond apparent reason when their own children have been threatened with imminent harm. I’ve heard of people surviving days and days with nothing to eat or drink after being buried alive in the rubble generated by an earthquake. It seems to me that miracles might be far more commonplace than many of us are led to believe. But never in my life did I ever imagine that I personally might experience something that could rival these stories I have heard. And yet it appears to be happening right now…to me…in Minnesota of all places.
When I think back to last summer I have this image of myself as walking around with eyes that were partially veiled or clouded. As I have noted before it seems that the trauma that had affected me as a child had, among other things, clouded my perception of the world. And I wasn’t even aware of my clouded perception. I was looking at the world with grief that I had not fully acknowledged, fully confronted and fully healed. Now I am doing that. And what an interesting next step in the journey it is!
I don’t typically associate grief with the season of Summer. If anything Summer is commonly and correctly associated with joy. Winter corresponds to grief, loss and even devastation. There is nothing quite like a cold January wind or a powerful blizzard here in Minnesota to convince you that winter is the season that ‘matches’ the realm of grief and death. Thus I find it a bit difficult to attend to my grief in a very deep way right now. I’d rather exult in the beauty of summer and focus on my joy. And there is certainly much joy for me to experience. I have woken up from the imprint of trauma I had been carrying around for so long. When ancient conditioning sloughs away and you can see the world without any preconceived notions or distorted perspectives the world can suddenly appear brand new. So has it come to pass with me.
When my eyesight was first ‘clearing’ last summer and autumn I felt some heightened anxiety that something was wrong with me. Now looking back after more time has passed it seems that the variability in my eyesight was a symptom of my healing process.
I can also think back on other moments in my childhood and appreciate that there were other clear indications that something was amiss. Being inordinately fatigued was one indicator. I can still recall a time when I visited my friend Michael in the neighborhood I grew up in. I went to his house to play and spend the night. Instead I slept for what I recall was over twelve hours. This does not strike me as normal for a boy of the age I was at that time. I believe that grief, pain and stress gone unacknowledged can metaphorically metastasize into a variety of phenomena. And being excessively tired is, I believe, one way such unattended issues can manifest.
I awaken each day now with a wonder I have never previously known.