“Blazing and Storm-shattered Maples”

Going back to what I wrote in June 1996, I saw the phrase “blazing and storm-shattered maples” and it reminded me of what I had written at that time. It was a powerful writing and a powerful learning that I have still been unable to integrate. I put it into a book I was making called “Ritual Year,” using powerful passages from my journal, as often as possible on or near the date when it was written. The idea was to have an entry for each day of the year. This was written on October 5, 1987, and placed as October 6 in Ritual Year. It was the first weekend I went to Kripalu, and the snowfall happened on Sunday, and we were unable to go home. They let us stay for free, so I walked up the entrance road.

October 6    Snowfall

Yesterday there was a heavy snowfall, perhaps 8-12 inches.  I went for a walk up and down the road.  The sun was just breaking through the clouds and the trees with their glorious colors contrasted sharply with the snow all over the ground.  There were broken branches everywhere and as I walked I thought about how this is the price we pay for being here.  In the past I’ve been very upset seeing that kind of damage, thinking it shouldn’t be that way, it’s not fair, the weather should be perfect so that trees can grow to maturity and health.  It’s always hurt to see big old trees with a few green branches and many dead ones.  But now it seems like this is the price we pay to live at all, this is what it costs to stand there with glorious colors.  I was almost grateful just to be alive – and seeing that it’s no good to be grateful and happy in the good times and not in the bad too.  We’ve got to accept it all.  So as I walked down the road I said “Yes, all right, I accept the challenge.  I’ll take the bad as well as the good and try to learn to be joyous and grateful through all of it.  And I too already have some broken branches.”  I was glad for the sense of oneness, of life containing both joy and sorrow and my willingness to accept them.  I’m still frustrated by not knowing what the purpose of it all is, why we are all stumbling along, getting battered and wounded – but now it seems much easier to accept everything that comes along.

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