What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure? I think it is the hope of loving, or being loved. I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey to find its source and how the moon wept without her lover’s warm gaze. We weep when light does not reach our hearts. We wither like fields if someone close does not rain their kindness upon us.
This is a festive time, as many in the US and abroad celebrate Thanksgiving, and it can also be a dark time. While there is much togetherness at this time of year, there is also a great deal of isolation and sadness. Not everyone has big families or large groups of friends with which to celebrate, or the money to have a festive meal. And in the Northern Hemisphere, our days are shorter and in many parts of the world it is colder. So we stay inside, become more contemplative, and probably spend more time alone.
The best cure for darkness is light; the best cure for sadness is love. As Meister Eckhart reminds us, it is the hope of loving, or being loved that sustains us. We need both—to give love and to receive love. So at this time of year, let us remember that we need both, that we need to open ourselves to others, that we need to receive, that we need closeness and intimacy. And also we need to give love—to our loved ones, to those we don’t know and are in need, and to our animals, and to our earth. So that we don’t wither, let us rain our kindness down on those around us.