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For most of the day, splishy-droplets scrimmed winter grasses, plank fences, and specter shrubs hugging my study, a subtle drenching sorely needed.

I pulled a chair next to the window, rather than collapse within grey’s moroseness: its palette revealed pewter skies, foggy mists, smoking chimneys, charcoal streets, sidewalks slickened like the hides of hippos. More belly rains threatened in the sudden splats whipping off my windowpane, then retreating as if scolded for intruding. Moments passed. Then, breezes lulled overhanging tree branches, slate-colored, and caught in its lethargic play a mussed piece of wrapping paper until lodged within hoar-covered ivy near the fence.

Then change occurred, slow at first: the droplets, icyfying. Plink! Plink! They caromed off my windowsill, sheened the piles of leaves resembling discarded gunboats in my backyard. Even silence felt like sagebrush with its healing aroma. The show continued. There was much to learn.

For an interval, all the greys surrendered to lighter hues releasing imprisoned outlines of my backyard. Rosy-greyness infused what appeared dormant. My spirit breathed deeply into the metamorphosis until swallowed by darker greys and night.  

But I had been visited as many others who had been colored, anew, by this experience. Grey does have substance.

It was late January 2005, dusk. Freezing pellets splattered our windshield. Outside, grays eclipsed the world: metallic ice floes of Lake Michigan congealed in precarious angles like embattled giants; pewter clouds breasted the traffic flow along Lake Shore Drive; ashen snow banks and specter poplars lined the neutral ground; white smoke belched from car and truck exhausts; slick spots on blue-gray sidewalks glimmered under streetlights. At the time, I shivered, likening this world to the ninth ring of Dante’s Inferno, where three-headed Lucifer, encased in ice, gnawed upon the heads of three infamous traitors, Judas, Cassius, and Brutus. There was no relief.

 

We were still a distance from Evanston, Illinois, site of our weekend conference with Jungian analyst, Marion Woodmen.

 

This woeful scene continues to haunt me whenever unearthing my own shadow in dreams or the maniacal chill enveloping planet Earth. Nothing is as it seems. Uneasy with shadow living, fidgety with vapid conversation, restive with accelerating speeds raping souls, I am in full-scale retreat, glad for my advanced years. More than ever, the challenge of infusing fresh color into the continuing grays of my life consumes me. For this purpose, a necessary apartness is critical for listening for deeper truth and receiving guidance.

 

Our time here is short. There is much help, if we ask on our knees.

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