The magical time of year that in its spirit is actually about light. Being connected to the pagan holiday of solstice. The story of Jesus and his birth is really a story about light being born on the planet. And is really in essence a story about our own light and journey onto Love.
We are living in a little village in the mountains of the sacred valley of Peru. Surrounding my home are giant corn fields, vegetation, Gardens and Mystical Mountains.
I began my day with my pipe. Prayed with the sun and gave thanks for all my gifts. We travelled to some little ruins surrounded by flower fields. On top of the hill was a big dome where the native people would make their offerings and receive the energy from the sun. So there we sat, sang, made our offerings and before we knew it the sun began to set. It really was so beautiful.
This solstice season was very special, as it fell on the new moon as well. New moon is traditionally a quieter time. A time of reflection. A time to be in the dark womb of the great mother. To sit, and meditate to plant seeds in the soil. Its a time when women who live on the land often will bleed and be in their “moon time.” It can often be a heavy energy. A time where the shadow will arise for healing.
Settling into, work, home and friends from around the world coming by I had been busy and joyful and really settling into the land. But each day approaching the dark moon…. the heaviness inside of me began to grow. I started to feel really upset. I became frustrated with little things and felt irritable.
As I was walking back to my house after this day of ceremony. I was feeling very vulnerable and quiet. But as soon as I got out of the motor taxi, the children in the courtyard started pointing and running towards me!
My sister visiting being a professional face painter, we had been face painting all the children in the village almost everyday. Turning little girls and boys into tigers and butterflies. This had led to very excited little people whose mothers were not very happy with us as they refused to shower. Also they were very determined to know when would be the next face painting session. Preferably right then and there.
I started pacing back as fast as I could with a little smirk on my face at the hilarious nature that I was running away from little people. But as I was almost in a sprint to the garden to catch some alone time, a little girl caught my eye. When will you paint us again, she asked with a sweet smile. My heart melted. I paused and looked in her eyes. OK I said. Today. We both grinned and I went to get my beautiful sister.
We headed to the music in the square ( in Peru there is often Music blasting somewhere) and we set up.
And then there I was painting this little girls face. And I almost began to cry. As the colors swirled into a butterfly on this little girls face, time stopped, and this little girl, who worked all day in the field with her mama, who knew hunger and way too much responsibility for a little 8 year old. Showed me in that moment, that there was so much to be grateful for, and to not take the gifts life gives us for granted.
I held her face and remembered that we are all connected to one another, and a small act of love can move mountains. And as i loved this little girl with a butterfly on her face, she loved me back and magic happened.
The law of Ayni. The law of the universe that says in right relationship there is always exchange of energy.
In this situation, I was painting a little girls face and it seemed like I was giving something to her. But really she was giving me a great gift in exchange. And so there was light.
Generosity is a flowing river, a river that washes the hands of the one who gifts and the one who receives. And so in order for a true gift to be passed down, one needs to have an open heart.
And this little butterfly had a heart full of gratitude and offered it up to me.
I have met many westerners who volunteer, or donate money and time as though they are giving something to someone in need. That it is a one way street and we are good people because of our gifts. I used to think in the same ways, But the law of Ayni says this is not walking in balance either. Because if you think that you are giving something, you will miss the exchange. And if you are not open to receiving you will miss the incredible gifts before you.
The native people of North America would often see their world in the eyes of the next 7 generations. What kind of world would they be leaving behind. For me walking this road, sometimes it can feel so huge, but it begins with the little things.
Coming back into balance. With sharing, generosity and the open heart.
Coming back to the tradition of solstice, a celebration of light and the light that lives inside of us. Because When we walk in balance, we make better choices. And through our choices the world changes.
A drop in the ocean, A leaf on a tree. Each connected and not fully existing without the other. The sacred nature of this life. A circle a cycle moving through time and space. A gift given, a gift received and a great love being born.
May your Holidays be filled with less stuff and more love. And may your cup always be full.