The Magic of Dusk: Finding Inspiration in a Thousand Painted Skies

Like you, I’m longing for warmer days to come because most days you’ll find me on the back deck of our home. It’s my favorite space that’s become a sacred place where I like to go for soul time. I also like bringing guests to the back porch to enjoy the view with a glass of wine while Chris finishes grilling dinner as we snack from all the fixings on the charcuterie board. The deck, the swings, the strings of twinkling lights, the good food, and the firepit table top all seem to work together to get us talking. First, it’s usually about the weather, then about the latest happenings in town, always towards the later part of the evening, the language shifts to soul talk which is why I love the back porch so much. 

The View from My Back Porch

If you were sitting on the back porch with me at my favorite time of day–dusk–you would see a thousand different painted skies between twilight and darkness as swaths of tangerine and cotton candy fade into midnight hues. You would also see a thousand different views of the fields and trees as the seasons and landscape change. In that sacred space suspended between earth and sky you would see that the same thing can look a hundred different ways all of which will catch your breath. 

It reminds me of ourselves. Our seasons of life change with the tide. We question what was the point of playing that role or going through that season as we cling to that one identity, one enduring self.  Like you, I am not oneself, I am a unique fusion of different seemingly contradictory selves: athlete, warrior, encourager, creator, entrepreneur, homemaker, writer, crafter, problem solver, team player, fierce leader, and nurturer. Throughout life, I often erred by believing I needed to trade one experience for the next, rather than mastering the fine art of allowing each of them to contribute to the collective person I am becoming.

I realized we do live a thousand different lifetimes. In fact, the Hebrew word for life–hayim–is actually plural for lives. It suggests that we are a dynamic unfolding of many selves as God shapes and molds us using our experiences and roles. Today you are as much of a leader as much as you are a farmer. You are as much of a team player as much as you are a parent. You are as much of a lover of the arts as you are an entrepreneur. Today are as much a part of this community as you choose to be by applying the different roles you played in your lifetime. Let the past versions of you serve the present. 

We Crave Connection

So many of us are craving to connect with that soul voice inside of us, struggling to set him or her free–apprehensive to share our gifts, talents, and opinions because we question if we would be welcomed or whether we could actually make a difference. Still, some question whether our past selves hold anything of worth as a service to others; and it’s another reason why I love the back porch so much. As night falls and our conversations deepen, snippets of our past selves emerge. Collectively, we encourage each other by sharing our past experiences can revitalize our souls and the community. Little suggestions are tossed out as ideas like volunteering to serve on the board, being a mentor, or becoming a business owner downtown.

Here’s the thing we need to realize: don’t fall into the trap of narrowly defining yourself. You are an ever-evolving self with so many iterations with so many gifts to share. You are not a mere brand, image, or product; rather, you are a continually evolving self, embracing numerous iterations. Similar to the way a landscape transforms under different lights, no view is truer than the others. In this diverse array of perspectives, each one akin to poetry, find the freedom to share yourself, authentically, endlessly, and beautifully.

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