Holding space for shades

I’m currently 42, and over the last several months I’ve observed some really incredible sunsets.

I’ve also been awed by the clouds, which I’m certain have always been in the sky and near that same sun I’ve recently and keenly noticed. There’s just been something about the vibrant and meshing colors of the sun and the clouds — I swear they are in 3D — with a backdrop of denim, deep sky and Bondi Blue. Maybe it’s my eyes, you know, the lasik. Or, possibly my age… I’ve heard that the older we get the more simplicity matters. I suppose it could be being out on a boat and “closer” to all of it. Or, maybe it’s the polarized sunglasses…

I’m sitting on a chair overlooking Oneida Lake, I’m being quiet and listening to my breath. This lake is the most breathtaking Carolina Blue — NOT Baby Blue, definitely Carolina Blue. And the clouds, they’re faint, simple outlines, like an artist wanted to whisper them onto their canvas.

I’m holding space for the sky and the clouds and, tonight, for the setting sun and all of their associated shades. It’s a beautiful place to practice because it brings me to a natural state of observation, as well as a foundational and known capacity to non-judgmentally be.

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds. ―Carl R. Rogers, ‘A Way of Being’

If I can hold space for the differing shades of the sky, the lake, the clouds and the sun, then I can hold space for another’s fear based and love based responses, for they are simply shades of expression that I can be still with, open my heart to and not judge.

So it’s not the lasik, or my age, or the boat or the sunglasses. It’s being, breathing, witnessing and loving. It’s sitting in discomfort and understanding impermanence.

It’s yoga and mindfulness and heartfulness. And, I’m so grateful.


Written by Erica Denman