In my morning emails today a friend wished me a “luminous day.” I wondered for a bit about how that would express itself, what would it look like to have a luminous day? Or was it a simply a way of wishing me well? Upon reflection, it is true that we are luminous beings, is it not? Our cells are full of electricity and our souls are always depicted as beings of light. If only I could see that more clearly, first thing in the morning when my image returns to me in the mirror. I once had a spiritual teacher who suggested I practice staring into my eyes, while trying not to blink. I was surprised by what appeared.
On my afternoon walk, the sun beamed down on a late winter snow cover, and we squinted into the deep blue sky. It was hot when I stood in the open rays of the sun, but cold as the wind blew through in -5 temperatures. M partner has a honed sensitivity to weather conditions and can read the elements by the direction of the wind, the time of day, and the cloud pattern. And I’ll know that the storm that just blew through the Northeast is the reason for the cold winds we are experiencing now. I am consistently read the 7-day forecast. It is what gave him an exceptional capacity to cycle, swim, ski, skate or run under the most adverse conditions compensated by the right equipment and clothing. So even though it was muddy, I took my spikes for the icy patches. I could not dress for an evening out but I can dress to perfection for the weather.
The sun turned the snow to a pure white, whiter than white. The reflection of the sun off the snow was blinding, and the road paved in a “luminous” white against the evergreens and the phenomenally blue sky. So this IS a luminous day. Peering hard into the sun-drenched snowbanks felt a little surreal. There is something to be said about intense light, which often comes wrapped in a sense of warmth, alluring but difficult to hold. People who have had a near-death experience recount being pulled in to a bright light. Have you ever tried staring into the sun? It is hard to do for more than a few seconds. We can stare into the darkness and not be moved, except for our fears arising out of nowhere by our all-absorbing minds.
And as we continued on the path, random thoughts circled through my brain. I witnessed in my mind’s eye the balls of snow turn into skulls, reviving a memory of the museum of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia and the Holocaust museum in Washington. Why would that invade my thought space on a vividly beautiful promenade? Mere association brings all sorts of sordid memories to the surface. I have only my self to fear. No sooner had we turned the corner in the road, we spotted a man and his German shepherd 500 feet in front of us. We never encounter anyone on our back road stroll. The young dog raced towards us, and my instinct was to hide behind my partner. But before I could grab his coat, my partner darted full speed ahead in the dog’s direction, sending the dog whimpering back towards his master. Strange the way fear can start with a thought and penetrate the present reality in some manifest form.
In the days following my “luminous” walk, I had many encounters with “luminous.” It was being mirrored back to me, as if I had suddenly become aware of a presence that had always been there – in oddly random places like the paint store and evening reading.