Did you ever take a walk along a stream or lakeside early in the morning when the sun is still low in the sky? Early morning is not my favorite time of day either, but the reflection of the rippling water on the breezy foliage creates a beautiful, shimmering tapestry of bright lights and dark places. It’s almost worth it to get out of bed.
I have never felt so at peace than when I see one of nature’s presentations. If you look at it long enough and let yourself become involved in it, you almost feel as if nature is telling you a secret. You have to listen long enough to hear something besides: “Go back to bed.” That’s not nature, that’s your tired body begging for mercy. The shimmering tapestry I saw is like life. The bright lights and dark places are all part of it. Together they make something extraordinarily beautiful.
Without seeing this larger picture of life, we can sometimes get caught up in an individual moment. If that moment is a bright light, you will, hopefully, recognize it as such, hug it to you, and savor every second of it like a big piece of cheesecake.
Before long, however, you will come to a dark place. These are just as much a part of a beautiful life as the bright lights. You should let yourself feel the pain and anger and utter helplessness… for a time. Take it all in and then… let it go.
Free yourself to experience the bright lights once again. You are entitled to be happy. There will be cheesecake again, I promise.
The shimmering tapestry of life is not a tapestry at all if you allow yourself to dwell on the dark places so much that the bright lights go unnoticed. When we took my 8-year old to a Lego exhibition - his idea of nirvana – all he could think about when he got home was how he didn’t get to play with his friend that day. That’s a dark place for an 8-year old. He didn’t even recognize the Lego convention as a bright light.
You have many things for which to be thankful. If, try as you might, you cannot think of any, go somewhere that people need help and share what you have. Many people have less to be thankful for than you do, yet you will see a smile on their face when you come to share. For them, the bright light… is you. The tapestry of your life is interwoven with the people you spend time with. Their bright lights and dark places are entwined with yours; in and under, around and through.
Seeing the reflection of the water dancing on the trees is possibly one of the brightest lights in my tapestry, because, during the hectic pace of my life, I have been given a treasure: A secret that nature only imparts when one is very quiet, very still, and very receptive. If your life is like mine, these three things do not happen very often. I have shared the secret with you, however, so now, go and wrap your bright light around someone who is in a dark place. Give them hope and a smile. You will find that the tapestry will shimmer brighter still.