A student in Jody’s class gave her a pot full of paper white narcissus ready to bloom. With the sun low in the sky these days, and the narcissus getting abundant direct sunlight through the back door, the bloom has begun. They are pretty, delicate, and fragrant. One bloom in particular seems to be turned toward the sun.
Meanwhile, the sun is doing some moving of its own, or at least it appears to be moving back toward the Northern Hemisphere. With the passing of the Solstice, Christmas with its Star of Bethlehem, the coming of the New Year, and the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, abundant opportunities for light as a metaphor of hope, renewal, and good versus evil, have presented themselves.
I don’t know if narcissus exhibit heliotropism (turning to follow the sun as it moves across the sky) or phototropism (growing in the direction of the sun), but it is clear that the narcissus need and seeks the sun and the light it provides. So maybe that’s also a good metaphor for this season.
As a Christian I believe that Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12) and in my better moments I turn to Him and follow Him. Some readers might not subscribe to that faith, so I would offer an alternative word of exhortation from Charles Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge:
The thoughts of worldly men are for ever regulated by a moral law of gravitation, which, like the physical one, holds them down to earth. The bright glory of day, and the silent wonders of a starlit night, appeal to their minds in vain. There are no signs in the sun, or in the moon, or in the stars, for their reading. They are like some wise men, who, learning to know each planet by its Latin name, have quite forgotten such small heavenly constellations as Charity, Forbearance, Universal Love, and Mercy, although they shine by night and day so brightly that the blind may see them; and who, looking upward at the spangled sky, see nothing there but the reflection of their own great wisdom and book-learning.
It is curious to imagine these people of the world, busy in thought, turning their eyes towards the countless spheres that shine above us, and making them reflect the only images their minds contain. The man who lives but in the breath of princes, has nothing in his sight but stars for courtiers’ breasts. The envious man beholds his neighbours’ honours even in the sky; to the money-hoarder, and the mass of worldly folk, the whole great universe above glitters with sterling coin—fresh from the mint—stamped with the sovereign’s head—coming always between them and heaven, turn where they may. So do the shadows of our own desires stand between us and our better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed.
As we move forward in 2016, may we have the courage to turn toward and live in the light.
Thanks as always for stopping by. Happy New Year.