I have never really had a bucket list. No experiences I think I need to have, or places I feel I must visit, or accomplishments I think I ought to achieve to make my life complete. Of course there are things I’ve never done that I might enjoy, but for the most part I am pretty content with my life as it is.
But recently I was reading the news reports of the stunning Northern Lights that have been occurring due to all the solar activity that’s been going on, and I felt a strong desire take shape within me: I’d like to see the Northern Lights before I die.
I’ve seen them only once, back in my college days in Boulder, Colorado, where they appeared as a red glow in the northern sky. It is extremely unusual for them to appear so far south and most people had no idea what was happening. Since it was during the Cold War, many people’s thoughts went to the worst possible scenario: we were seeing the glow of a far off nuclear attack. Eventually the radio announcers found out what was going on and filled us all in, quieting the community’s fears.
Looking back, that was a vivid example of how good we humans are at creating catastrophic narratives. When something occurs that is outside our normal experience, our go-to explanation is that it must be a grave threat, perhaps even the end of the world. Maybe it’s time we started questioning our dystopian assumptions.
The other day as I was feeling this longing to witness for myself the Northern Lights, I took a moment to listen in more deeply. It was then that I realized there was something underneath the desire. I could feel how the deeper longing wasn’t simply to see the Northern Lights, but to be the Northern Lights. To be a Light dancing in the darkness, giving expression to the unique colors and contours of my soul.
I suspect this was the only thing on my soul’s bucket list when it chose to incarnate on Earth at this particular moment. Since you’re reading this, I suspect the same is true for you.
Tomorrow is the winter solstice, and with everything transpiring on planet Earth right now it seems we are collectively in the season of the long night. And while many fear that this descending darkness portends our demise, I see something different.
I see in this season an invitation to allow myself to be enveloped by the Darkness, by the impenetrable Mystery that is the origin of All That Is.
I see, against the backdrop of this Darkness, the eruption of the most magnificent Light, which is clearly visible when I turn my attention toward the North Star of Love.
I am beginning to know myself as a unique and dancing expression of Love, which is the essence of All Being.
I am beginning to understand how much we may need this time of Darkness in order to finally see our Light.