This morning was glorious.
The sun threw hues of gold and pink upon the cloud sketched canvas before him.
It was a picture.
I raced Holly up Windmill Hill. Eager to drink in the view from its top.
Blue and green and light and bright rewarded my efforts.
I had slept fitfully the night before. Woken aching and stiff. Lying heavily atop a painful bed. Reluctant to get up and walk the dog. Sometimes my Parkinson’s body is like this. The repayment for all the rushing around at the weekend, I suppose. My body always pays a price for such over exertion. It is a frustrating place to inhabit. On the one hand, I am overcome with tiredness. I feel like my whole skeleton has been filled with lead. Everything is so heavy. So difficult to move. So slow to respond. I become a slow motion version of myself.
Moving is difficult. I want to stay in bed. But I cannot. Because I cannot relax. All my muscles are tense. In painful spasm. I concentrate and relax my shoulders. Only to realise that my hips are contorting my back and legs. Whilst the tremor in my right arm grows steadily more violent. In the end, there is no option but to get up, drag myself slug-like towards the bathroom. Try to gradually ease the tension away and regain control.
But, I love mornings. Seriously. Even the bad ones. Always have. I am always excited at the prospect of a new day. The sheer potential of it. I mean, who knows what could happen?
So, when I do finally get outside. And am greeted by the bright light of a clear day. Then…well…. the potential for the day seems even greater than ever.
And it turned out to be a pretty good day. In lots of ways.
But, as I write this, I am struck by the interplay between Light and Dark, between Light and Heavy, between Light and Not Light on this and, I suppose, every day.
The observation that the day began Dark and Heavy only served to make me appreciate the Light all the more.
Dark and Heavy have their part to play. They are necessary. They should be valued. We need the Dark places. We need the Night. Give a plant too much Light and it will grow weak and die. Expose a person to perpetual daylight and they will go crazy. We need Dark and Heavy in order to grow strong.
But, spend too long in Darkness and your thoughts can grow too Heavy. Your thoughts can drag you down. From there, it can be all too easy to get dragged further and further down.
Darkness is the house of thought, introspection, self-examination. The place where we take time to look after our roots. Establish our core values. It is vital to spend time here well. Without strong roots you will never grow tall or bear fruit. It is not always a comfortable place to be. To spend time well here demands that you confront painful truths. But, it is necessary.
As is the Light. Lightness is all about movement. Action. Doing. The energy this time is outward. It is inspiration, transformation. Change. Which can be exhausting. And painful too. Spend too long in the Light and you will start to crave the Dark.
It’s a question of Balance. Equal and opposite. Light and Dark. Appreciating the value of both.
So, for my gift today, I give you both Light and Dark. In the form of a song by the wonderful Mr Nick Cave. I grew up with Mr Cave. I was a fan back in my teens when he was singer in The Birthday Party and have followed him ever since. As an artist, he is often associated with the Dark due to his image and imagery. But I always felt that there was a great deal of Light there too. In his humour. His playfulness. A sort of Dark Light. Or Light Dark. Here he is in his band, Grinderman.