Shadow Time
Written by Raven   

These are the longest nights, these nights just before and after the turning of the year. Some of us feel this in our bones more than others, but for all of us, I think, there is at least some current running deep within us that connect us to these ancient rhythms.

You know the ones I'm talking about. The rhythms of the year waxing and waning, the blooms of spring, the harvest of the fall, the inward drawing of winter. The rhythms of our lives, from birth to death, through marriage and children.

All of these rhythms are burned into our genes by the long centuries spent in humankind's childhood. They are the slow waves of time unfolding through us. The slow waves of the land and the water and the air cradling us in the rocking motion of eons. They are so much a part of us that we are only dimly aware of them, if at all. Yet these are the unseen guideposts that point our way.

And each of these rhythms rises and falls from dark to light, from emptiness to fullness. From full bellies to the pangs of hunger. From the joys of a wedding to the dark despair of a heart-breaking divorce. From the depths of winter to the fat of summer. From the gentle breeze to the tornado.

Acknowledging and accepting these rhythms is part of living. It is part of our acceptance of being part of something larger - call it God, or Mother Earth, or Creation, I don't care. It is healthy, and realistic.

When these rhythms are disrupted, when the dark is not held with as much respect as the light, when the emptiness is not cherished as much as the fullness, when the Whole is not nurtured as much as the Self, then individuals and societies become unhealthy.

The dark emptiness is held at bay, where it gathers strength. The signs and warnings that something is amiss in the underlying rhythms of earth and sky are ignored. The connection with the ancient current is lost, and what once guided and cradled us is distained. We are at the mercy of whatever winds that blow, whatever waters take us.

Whatever winds that blow. These are the words that strike a vein of ice in my heart. I've been reading a lot about all the heat we dump into the atmosphere, and the growing scientific consensus about what that means.


Storms, the like of which have never been seen before. Not in what is left of my lifetime, perhaps. But in my son's? Very likely.

Want to live in Kansas? Better build a bunker, because the tornados are gonna be killer. Want to live on the coast? Want to live anywhere? How do 250 mile an hour winds sound to you?

If you think this won't change life on the face of this planet, you are living in a dream world.

Can we adapt to such a world? You bet. We can live in bunkers and domes. We can air condition the damn cities. And our children's children won't know any better, won't know it was ever any different. Won't know what it was like to run in the out of doors. Won't know that at one time you could walk in a gentle rain.

I don't hold out much hope that this is not the future for our children. This is one of my more cynical days, I suppose. Some days I have hope, and others, well...

Shadow time is coming. The empty has not been honored. The dark has not been cherished. The Whole has not been treated as equal with the Self.

The Tao says: What is empty becomes full. What is full becomes empty. What is small becomes great. What is great becomes small.

These are rules older than mankind. These are the ancient rhythms that power suns and drive the waves. Can you feel these currents? Tell me you can.



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