A New Years toss
- In an entry in his Disciples handbook Sri Chinmoy had spoken of handling irritation by imagining forming it into a ball and throwing it away. Perhaps this came naturally to Sri Chinmoy, a javelin thrower (one wonders what the young man in an ashram threw away with his tosses), but my attempts had met with limited success until after the winter solstice of this year.
Winter solstice; a candle lit procession, lights from candles in cans dancing with the steps of participants, proceeded to the ocean.
For a few years I have wanted to join in, but spending time with those at home felt more important. This year was no exception. Dinner togetherness took precedence. But still, I hoped to participate in the lantern pageant. After supper, once all were satisfied and had drifted off to their own activities, I looked for the can I had rescued from our recycling bin and had bent back into shape. Yie! An industrious family member had seen the rescued can, stomped it flat as prescribed, and thrown it back into the re-cycling bin.
Rummaging once again through the bin, I found no clean golden form that was reshapeable. The only can that might be used was one with print and pictures of the former olive contents. Well Ok. I decided to go ahead. With mallet and nail I managed to produce a hole on the top of opposite sides of the can to thread the string for a handle. After my attempts had failed, my husband helped attach the candle to the can bottom with melted wax tricky to do without burning fingers on the heated metal, I discovered. Then I headed out with my little light into the dark.
A walk to the water revealed no others with lanterns. I walked to the clearing by the one-room church. The finished processioners were already there. Drinking cider or standing round the fire. One described a little ceremony to me.
As the procession reached the pebble beach, each member chose a stone and THREW it, far as it would go, out into the dark sea, symbolically casting away the troubles of the year.
I entered the simple church and was invited to light a candle. A used match, re-ignited in bright yellow eye of a burning candle, carried a tiny flame to flare the wick of another to brilliance. The flotilla of candles drifted in a basin of water by the alter. I stood there silently for a moment. Then, after "happy solstice!" goodbyes, the beam of my headlamp leading the way, I returned to the ocean.
Alone on the beach I selected a dark stone and lobbed it into the sea. It was not satisfying. I chose a slightly larger pebble, one with more heft and THREW it overhand into the water. Away, all troubles and cares of the year.
Some days later, I was annoyed by something said. Did I want to hang on to the words and this stone of anger? Just a little cogitation No. I felt the heft of the stone in the hand of my imagination and THREW. It worked.