November 26, 2013 § 4 Comments
The shorter days and cold, cold mornings make me restless. The early sunsets wreak havoc on my sense of time after the past 7-8 months of long days and abundant light. The other evening, I went about preparing dinner at sundown, only to realize, when we sat down to eat, that it was just 5:30pm. That realization brought with it a slight tinge of despair, the sort that comes with expending effort and seeing that more effort needs to be expended before results are seen. The night has barely begun and I am already over it.
It’s interesting to observe how these long stretches of dark and cold are impacting my physical and emotional self. I am craving soups, stews and meat, having put the Vitamix to rest until it’s time for smoothies in the spring. I am not interested, and am actually quite aggravated by, rushing and tight deadlines, preferring instead to create spaciousness in the schedule, allowing the space for hot baths, reading time and solitude. I suppose it’s just as well that this little drama I went through last week has blown over and dissolved the relationship – I am not in the mood for keeping up appearances for appearances’ sake. Especially not right now.
The aftermath of that emotional storm took me through a range of emotions. There was anger at first, and then guilt, then indignation, and finally, peace. Most importantly, it raised the question of how does one balance ahimsa (non-harming) and satya (truthfulness) in one’s relations with others. How do you be honest in a way that is non-harming? And when harm is done (as reported to you by the recipient of your truth-telling), what next? Is it more important to avoid saying the truth so as not to hurt others? What does ‘hurt’ mean, anyway? Are there situations where privileging one yama over the other would be preferred, or should we strive to strike a balance, as best as we can, wherever possible?
Lots of time and space ahead to think about this, with these long, cold nights.