"If I could change the world,
I would be the sunlight in your universe.
You would think my love was really something good,
Baby, if I could change the world...."
I've been sitting here, just loving Eric Clapton's "Change the World." Listening to it tonight, I found myself remembering a day over 20 years ago, when, during a friend's visit, one of my favorite metaphors for the healing power of "living Love" began to unveil itself.
Jacqueline and I were walking the perimeter of the estuary pond that was downhill from our little house perched up on the ridge road. We were just a few blocks from the crashing Atlantic that sunny, cold, later winter afternoon in March of 1988, and yet the almost palpable stillness of our surroundings was as quieting as the "solemn hush of nature newly born."
Arms linked, heads bent close, we were discussing the purpose of being alive. Each of us had been through "the valley of the shadow..." that winter and I remember our reference to it as "the winter of our discontent." But the longer we talked, and walked, the more we realized that this gray-hearted season had actually been filled with opportunities for self-examination and surrender, quiet contemplation and cleansing tears. And in hindsight, I can see that I was more content that winter than I could even begin to glimpse in the moment. I was content to sit and think, to be grateful for small things, to listen intently to the gentle voice of a friend offering comfort and encouragement.
The sun that day glanced off the surface of the pond, bounced from the window panes in surrounding summer cottages, and fleshed out the subtle shades of yellow in the forsythia bushes...just beginning to waken from their long winter's nap...at the pond's edge. It was such a clear example of how something I never really even looked at (the sun itself) could change the way I see the world I live in.
I remember taking Jacqueline's hand in mine, and saying, "Let's be like the sun and just shine...on everything and on everybody." We laughed and talked about all the ways the sun behaved. It didn't care what, or who, its rays touched, warmed, or blessed. It never invited you to consider its own beauty. Its form and shape could not be outlined, or delineated, by the eye. It remained constant regardless of what was going on around it.
We sat quietly on a felled log by the water's edge, and watched the changing, shifting colors, shadows, textures, and forms of rocks, leaves, water, and the thin layer of ice that slowly melted and joined the pond's larger body. We let the sun penetrate the cold air, reach beneath sweaters, and set itself upon our skin and into the marrow of our bones.
Words were not necessary that day. The inner teacher spoke through the sun's warmth.
Later, we brushed off our jeans, pulled on our mittens, and walked up the hill towards the house. Each pane of glass like welcoming, smiling eyes, golden with reflected light.
The sun's message that day was so clear. Just shine. It was enough to change my world, without a word.
Kate Robertson, CS