Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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After work we walked down to the shore to watch the sun set on the shortest day of the year. We were looking for comfort as the calendar told us to begin a new year. The resolutions we made in the past have been leading us to this point. Our point had no point, our days had no joy, and our business had lost a reason to be of service. We had become the victims of habit, impulse, drudgery and slothful thinking. Time had become flat and meaningless.
My sister asked me if I thought we would survive the winter. I answered honestly that I was not so sure we could. When she trembled and asked if I believed in luck and fate I told her I did not put much stock in luck. Fate is another matter, because we can not know our fate. We do fashion our own good fortune or lack thereof when we create our self image. We waited by the water and watched the light of the sun sink into the horizon while I wondered how I could change our luck, in which I had just claimed to have no belief. After dark I whispered to her, “All our needs are easily met.” The moon rose, shining brightly on the path to our home. Our spirits lifted and we felt a surge of bliss. We harvested hope in the night that would last all year. We floated home on a cloud of new optimism.
This short story is based on the photo prompt on this weeks’ Echo by Sue Vincent. She inspires us every Thursday with a new photo to which we respond with poetry or prose, comedy or dark dystopian drama. This group is diverse, bringing a talented response to the snapshot of the moment. Join us to read, comment, or submit your own response here. Thanks for stopping by today.
In the darkest moment of winter, heaviness and despair falls on the land. Frightened workers huddle indoors, sharing the heat of a single stove in the dance hall of the dead. The musical sounds drift in from the streets, strings and horns and voices of the past kill time by serenading the future. The dance floor is void of happy feelings but full of feverish dread of the coming days. The waltz goes on forever, the tempo hypnotic, mind numbing. The dancers know all the tribal dances that have been danced for centuries in this place. Circles of spirited colors whirl above the floor. The walls vibrate with deep bass rhythm and drumming creatures representing sacrifices made to tradition. The swift current of time sweeps the crowd up in a cloud of memory and doubt.
The donkey shadow on the wall opposes the one of the elephant wearing a hat. The shadow puppets play the same parts forever, constantly changing costumes to deceive. The audience blends into the puppetry, never minding the strings attached. The glow from the streetlight illuminates the dancing puppets as they pass. The translucent quality of their weary bodies is briefly revealed for a moment. Darkness and bitter cold then quickly envelops each one in dread. Nobody knows if this is real or imaginary. This may be happening in the present, or we may be stuck in each other’s dreams. Is there an escape? Are we under a spell? Will this dance continue? Do we have a choice?
Visit Sue Vincent’s blog on Thursdays to find a photo prompt for fiction. Create your own story to go with this week’s image.
Does the fall equinox have special meaning to you? Native people around the world have marked and celebrated the night that is equal in northern and southern hemispheres in spring and fall for centuries. The balance of darkness and light, the nature of shadow, the harvest of what has been sown are celebrated at this powerful change of seasons. To enter winter with excess overhead or an insufficient supply has been a recipe for disaster since the first fairy tale was created. In both short and long terms fall is a time for risk assessment. The harvest is in, or soon will be, and it must last until new crops can be grown and harvested. Failure can mean starvation. Useless baggage must be jettisoned now to keep the boat afloat.
Today our supplies come from abroad and we don’t even know when and how harvests are made. Coal, natural gas, and petroleum are harvested to process, transport and refrigerate our food. The cost of the supply chain far outweighs the cost of the food itself. Our electronic devices are similar. They are harvested elsewhere and imported to us. Globalization demands that goods and services be produced at the lowest price and sold for the highest possible price. International business must take advantage of the lowest wages and least demanding labor forces. I believe that these imperialistic practices have caused a spiritual equinox. Forces that seem to be out of our control darken the skies and freeze out those with the fewest resources. Persephone returns to her husband Hades in the underworld every year as winter approaches. Her symbolic return in the spring celebrates light over darkness. As the days grow shorter and nights grow longer what seeds will you purposely germinate? Do you believe the violence and darkness being proliferated will be reversed?