Monday, January 02, 2012

Tea and Truth: Light in Dark, Dark in Light

Light in Dark
I notice how the light shines in the amber liquid

Many of us are thinking about light this time of year. We look forward to the longer days, the brighter days, the warmer days.  I've been working at embracing the dark.  I like this dark season because I have a reason to light candles and start a fire.  The dark helps me see the beauty of the light, the dark makes the light precious.  I know from living in New Mexico that a constantly sunny environment can grow tiresome.

On the afternoon of Dec 31, I made a cup of pu-erh (above), a very dark tea, to acknowledge the dark time of year.  I wanted something grounding as I reflected upon my experiences in 2011, what I valued and what I wanted to let go.  Then on Jan 1, I made a cup of white silver needles (below).  This white tea takes my energy up and out, perfect for dreaming of plans for the new year.

Dark in Light
I notice how the liquid appears clear, but when I look closely, I see the dark shadows and the color

Writing Prompt

Preparing: I invite you to find a few moments this week to think about the dark and light in your life.
Sipping: Over a couple of days (or a few hours), prepare a light tea and a dark tea. 
  • Make notes about how the teas look, taste, smell and feel in your mouth.  How are the light and dark similar?  How are they different?  What qualities of each do you appreciate?
  • Now make notes about light and dark aspects of life. 
    • How is darkness sometimes a good thing?  For me, it's the candles, the fireplace, the time to snuggle in, watch movies and read.  Time to test myself by going outside to play on cool and moist days.  Time for celebrations of small things.  Time to reflect and renew.
    • How is lightness sometimes a challenge?  There's a song done by Sweet Honey in the Rock called, The Sun Will Never Go Down.  It says, "...the flowers are blooming forever, the sun will never go down.  Don't you feel like cryin' sometimes...."  This song speaks to me.  There are times when the bright things in life are too much, and I need darkness to calm my soul. 
    • How can you embrace both light and dark?
May 2012 be for you like this tangerine, full of good, healthy things!  Full of the goodness in both dark and light.  (In this case, pu-erh tea.)


Teafan said...

What a great question - what are the challenges in the light?

Angela McRae said...

A new writing prompt! Yippee -- I'll be doing this one for sure!

lahikmajoe said...

I really enjoy the dark, cold time of the year. Although I still go on long walks with my dogs, I do stay inside more and feel that it somehow helps my productivity.

Have already been thinking about what you're talking about in this post, but I might just follow your advice and actually write down my impressions.

Thanks for the idea.

Marlena said...

I've been really thinking about this and I know that light and dark are often pictured as good and evil, but that is too simple. Light can expose harsh realities, darkness offers cosy comfort.

Both can be frightening, both can be a comfort to our spirits.We need both to fully experience the world. All light means we cannot discern beginnings and endings, giving us flatness. All dark and we stumble around. A mix gives us depth, we need them both.

The nightblooming cereus needs sun to grow and flourish, but it will only bloom in the dead of night and only for that one night.

Too much dark in the winter and I am unhappy, but the changes of light in the fall make me feel good. I welcome winter, as the long slog of summer chores is over, but I count the sconds when the days finally begin to lengthen out. I am grateful for the changing seasons of relative light and dark as they seem to nourish different parts of me at different times.

Marilyn said...

It might take me awhile to get back to writing, but I will return. Christmas is now tucked away for another year, bookkeeping is almost done for the end of the year, Joey's Christmas hat is finally made - so soon I will be ready to write again. Happy New Year to you!