Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Born from the Ashes

It’s October, and change is in the air. At Hogwarts School of Magic, with a guarantee of the Unknown lurking nearby, Harry Potter begins a new school year and witnesses Professor Dumbledore’s majestic bird of mythology, the phoenix, burst into flames, only to recreate itself from its own ashes.

With summer behind us, leaves fall and become a colorful dance floor for the autumn winds. We hope that after the barrenness of winter, spring will return and bring with it new life. This month, Yom Kippur marks the Jewish remembrance and forgiveness of the past, thereby making room for something new in one’s life. Halloween, once honoring the Saints who have gone before us, is often celebrated with images of death and mystery.

Personally, 20 years ago in October, time stood still as my family witnessed the final stages of my father’s waning battle with cancer. These are but a few images along the continuum of change, of letting go of the familiar with only hope that something positive will rise out of the darkness.

As the human experience is fraught with endings and beginnings, I offer this poem in support of the heroic endeavor we make whenever we decide, amidst the fallen leaves--the ashes of our hearts’ desires, past actions or life events-- to open ourselves to another chapter and to choose life.

Just as the phoenix rises from her ashes,
So too, we are called To rise again and again,
To re-create ourselves As Life happens In and around us.
By daring to live and to love,
We have followed our hearts Into the abyss
From which jagged fragments of our being
Lie numb in timeless silence…

Until as if from the grave,
We find ourselves Rising yet again,
Choosing life,
A new life,
A new chapter,
A new way of being.

Surely any sparkle in this rebirth
Will be the reflection of the ashes From whence we rise.

I’d love to hear stories of your journey into new chapters for yourself. As always, if I can be of support to you or someone you know in the process of personal re-creation, please let me know.


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