Ever since I discovered this excerpt from the Egyptian Book of the Dead when I was 14 years old it has been a guiding light, something I always come back to remind me of the light that can be born of darkness. That it's ok to feel the chill of life's shadows, in order move through them into the illuminating warmth of my Self.
"As if I've slept a thousand years underwater I wake into a new season. I am the blue lotus rising & memory opening — I, the thousand-petaled flower. At dawn the sun rises naked & new as a babe; I open myself & am entered by light. This is the joy, the slow awakening into the fire as one by one the petals open, as the fingers that held tight the secret unfurl. I let go of the past & release the fragrance of flowers. I open & light descends, fills me & passes through me, each thin blue petal reflected perfectly in clear water. I am that lotus filled with light reflected in the world. I float content within myself, one flower with a thousand petals, one life lived a thousand years without haste, one universe sparkling a thousand stars, one god alive in a thousand people. If you stood on a summer's morning on the bank under a brilliant sky, you would see the thousand petals & say that together they make up the lotus. But if you lived in its heart, invisible from without, you might see how the ecstasy at its fragrant core gives rise to its thousand petals. What is beautiful is always that which in itself, in essence, is a certainty of Being. I marvel at myself & the things of this Earth. I float among the days in peace, content. Not part of the world, the world is all parts of me. I open toward the light & lift myself to the gods on the perfume of prayer. I ask for nothing beyond myself. I own everything I need. I am content in the company of god, a prayer that contains its own answer. I am the lotus. As if from a dream, I wake up laughing..."
– Egyptian Book of the Dead
Photo by Michelle Clabby