Every sound crackles into a worry that I’ll wake Rowan, who sleeps quietly near me. Its 10pm on a Sunday night – late Spring dancing into Summer’s blazing heat, and I rest in the balance – a full moon pending just before Solstice. Everything is basked, baked, bathed in Colorado’s golden light, and I’m ever more aware of the places in my own experience that have yet to sprout from seed’s darkness. Spring: It’s a time of beginnings and unfolding – a turning towards light in new ways.
An easefulness has woven its way into relationship between Rowan and I – and I feel a sharp contrast to the resistance and struggles that have marked many periods in these first two years of his life. All of the sudden it dawns on me that I am in a relative period of rest. Perhaps I’ve worn out the lessons of this phase? All that is left in this moment is a simple acceptance with a flair of zest, regardless of external circumstances such as sleepless nights or a worn down immune system. Perhaps there is something to why we say “worn down” along with “worn out.” All of the sudden we’ve worn something down to the point that the wearing has served its purpose of potential purification. Like a stone thrown about in water, we can’t see the edges being smoothed while banging against what often feel like sharp, turbulent obstacles.
So too the periodic discomforts of parenthood. Of course being ‘worn down’ feels lousy, until something therein is ‘worn out,’ burned up, smoothed out. We wear something until we have outgrown it or until we have literally worn it out. So too with our experiences and spiritual path. If we can ride the waves of transformation, even through discomfort and relative ‘stress,’ – and if we can leave ourselves open to the possibility that we are being worked on in mysterious ways, all of a sudden we may notice we have moved through something akin to a rite of passage. (The key is to pay close attention to the shifts!)
For some reason the silkworm comes to mind, with her ceaseless work (I’ve heard she only pauses to rest a handful of times before she spins her cocoon that holds her while going through metamorphosis). She spins with little rest until she is ready for her transformation. Meanwhile, out of steady effort one of the lightest, most beautiful substances is born. Like a new cloak of understanding that is ultimately translucent, light, free-flowing like silk – we too can wear a new parenthood understanding that transmutes difficulties into a loving lightness of being when the parent-child relationship has finally struck a balance, found a flow (and when we’ve ultimately worn out the lessons of exhaustion). The work doesn’t stop and rest may feel scant, but the weaving goes on. And sometimes we simply aren’t able to see the beauty of the weaving until a moment of rest is upon us.
So when rest is available, bask in it – just like basking in the emerging light of the season, or wrapping yourself in the lightest, most beautiful silk scarf. Take those moments of rest in order to settle into what you’ve unfolded or discerned in your life journey. Trust the weavings of a simple life: the ebbs and flows of waking, breakfast, playing outdoors with no agenda, carefree. A nap. Lunch. Laundry. Dinner. Green beans and raspberries. There does not have to be anything more. There comes a moment when you can do nothing but rest into the fullness of simply digesting your experience. That is the lesson of silkworms, hanging in the balance between seasons – digesting mulberry leaves, weaving a Divine thread.