Life has a way of stopping us in our tracks. Illness, loss of a job, the breakdown of a relationship, are just some ways in which it does this. Moments like these are inevitably dark and painful, yet they always have the capacity to give birth to light. It seems they all follow a basic pattern.
Firstly, they put us in a place of confinement and kind of prune us of all our distractions and running around. Our lives become small and restricted, and almost more focussed in a way.
Secondly, because of this confinement and pruning of distractions, they shift and enable greater attention, and begin to nurture us in to a deeper and intentional reflection, once again putting us in touch with what is essential and important in life.
Lastly, the moment always arrives when the confinement gradually, or sometimes swiftly, comes to an end and we find ourselves standing at a portal of light, ready to step out in to the gift of a new and deeper level of consciousness. The darkness and the confinement does its work and prepares us for the birth of something new and different.
This image I took in the Umbagowambo forest was for me a wonderful illustration of this.