How easily we may bury ourselves in our books and studies, almost literally if we did but know, and miss the many splendoured thing. There had been weeks of aridity and drought, familiar in the life of the spirit but not easily borne; weeks when there was no zest for living, no spontaneity, no inspiration. One existed like a automaton and yet was grateful that no one appeared to notice, even though when one smiled all that seemed to be produced was a forced grin.
There appears nothing one can do at such times except to "hang on", knowing that the dark period will pass. It always does. And the emergence into the light which happens quite suddenly, is clearer than ever before. We learn to keep the shadows to ourselves, knowing that perhaps we may be able to share the light with other. On this particular evening after several hours of work in the lamplight there was felt the need for fresh air and went out into the night. Overhead the stars were "a patina of bright gold". Venus, low in the West was still brilliant. There was perfect stillness and silence.
I walked down to the edge of the water where soundlessly the tide was gently coming in. And then I saw something I had never seen before - a flickering pencil line of faint gold where the glorious planet was reflected in the waters of the creek. And I marvelled. All petty cares fled away in that majesty of starlight and silence. Yet it was not remote, but here. Daylight with all its feverish activity over unessentials, its pressures of sight and sound impinging on the senses without surcease, was dissolved as if it had never been. The spirit relaxed into the deep breathing of the night, expanded into infinity and was most blissfully, most thankfully, at home. The traveller who came back into the familiar room was different from the one who had gone forth.
She was, thank God, once more herself and knew the peace which passes understanding. She knew much more for which there are no words, for she had "come to herself" by the direct touch of the spirit. Yet she had not read a wise and uplifting book, had not sat at the feet of a holy man, had not even prayed. She had only been for a walk under the stars. Only? Oh, if I might bring you to That which is eternally here, when the heart is quiet and thought in abeyance.
The first thing the traveller noticed when she returned were the daffodils, the willow, the forsythia, the plum branches gathered together in the jug on the table. So still, so beautiful, yet shouting for joy as if they were trumpets from the ramparts of heaven./. But of course that is what they are and heaven is here and now. Most Gracious One, let me not fall back into the illusions, into the dust of ignorance, into the hell that men make of life. Yet, if it must be so, let me remember what may be felt and known, but not commanded, under the stars.
(In memory of Clare Cameron, a beautiful soul, past editor of the Science of Thought Review in Sussex, England
Submit Your Own Article