We Are Light

"I come from nowhere. I come from everywhere. I am one. I am many. I am as we are – eternal, out of time."
Le Cirque de Soleil, Saltimbanco

“We are the Light, open, released over and over again.”
Martha Glessing, Wind Cloud

I am reading (again) the late Martha Glessing’s exquisite autobiographical novel “Wind Cloud”, and light is much on my mind at the moment, particularly in these short days as sunlight hours wane, and the nights grow longer.

One can't help but rejoice in every dancing mote and ray - the pale sunlight coming through my kitchen window in early morning, moonlight and starlight on these clear cold early winter evenings, firelight in the old brick fireplace downstairs, the warm golden halo of the beeswax candle I light every morning and evening, a wand of smoldering sweetgrass incense in warm darkness. I have just been out to the garden to look at the waxing moon, and its radiance high in the early winter sky bears mute testimony to the power of light to awaken wonder in our lives, to comfort, beguile and sustain us.

Our lives, and the lives of all those with whom we share this planet, the life of the planet itself - all exist in an eternal swirling dance, all of us together, spiraling endlessly round the Sun. We are beings made of light - creatures forged from the dust of long ago stars which once lighted up the heavens and ceased to exist millennia ago. How special we all are are. Within the cells of our present metabolisms are encoded the wisdom of the earth, the stories of ancient cultures, the star knowledge of unknown (as yet) constellations and "The Big Bang" which is thought to have engendered not only this world, but our whole vast universe too.

The stardust of which we are made is in essence recycled matter, having assembled into diverse life forms over and over again, lived and died as those life forms, then dissolved back into the cosmic sea countless times. In our time, “we” have been many things, have worn many shapes and answered to many names. In this lifetime I exist as a tatterdemalion, specific and perhaps unique collection of molecules called Catherine or Cate, but in previous appearances I was someone or something altogether different. To paraphrase Cad Goddheu, or the Battle of the Trees (as it is known in English):

I have been a tree with its roots reaching into the good dark earth,
I have been a lake shining under the morning sun,
I have been a hawk soaring in rapturous flight,
I have been a dolphin dancing in the ocean,
I have been a mountain peak dreaming under the moon.

Diverse spiritual paths, creation tales and mythologies hold out a seamless paradigm in which we are all connected, if we only had the vision and wit to recognize it and conduct ourselves accordingly. Within the non-dualistic paradigms of such cultures and teachings, I am a creature forged out of light and stardust, and once upon a time I may have been a mountain. How lovely that would have been.