The schedule vs. the seasons

„How did we always do it, anyway, when it’s already dark again at half past four?“ It is some time after the summer solstice. We can tell that the days are getting shorter again – a few minutes each day – by the fact that the sun, which once shone high above the tops of our trees, has only just grazed those tops and is now already casting its shadow on the walls of our little cottage. Soon autumn will come again. „I don’t know,“ I counter. „Maybe we left early.“ It was my wife who asked the opening question, and she was referring to our late afternoon dog walks. I think we asked ourselves that question several late summers in a row. I think the reason was that we never seemed to pay much attention to it. This year, however, I wanted to pay attention to it once so that I would have an answer ready next year! It became winter, the days very short and I noticed: we automatically adjusted to the light conditions. We shifted our walks to an earlier time. A time at which it was still bright. The amazing thing was – now we paid attention to it – that we did not meet any other dog owners on these rounds. They were as if they had disappeared from the face of the earth. The way often leads us around a – at the wintry time – harvested field. There one usually always met some walkers. But now you could let your gaze wander from one end of the field to the other: Nothing! Astonishing. If one met with „normal“ light conditions frequently quantities of housewives and pensioners with their dogs, so alone we were now on the way. Now it was against 16 o’clock. I suspected something. The following day I went out at the „normal“ going out time (about 18 o’clock). Dark as a stick. I had absolutely no desire. I took several flashlights with me. Better safe than sorry. Our dog also looked at me a little skeptically and clearly asked whether it was a really good idea to leave the house without sufficient visibility and, in addition, to move far away from it in all probability. The experiences of a life of several years on the street left greetings. Nevertheless, we walked courageously in the darkness through our forest to the field in question. – And there they all were! From one end of the field to the other they could be seen: Lamps flickering. Sometimes yellow bulb light; sometimes white LED light. The dogs were shining, flashing in different colors and rhythms with their special collars. The dog walkers shone through their reflector clothing that it was just such a splendor. Light signals were given. It was answered. Blink, blink. „Hello, here I come!“ Blink, blink, blink! „Hello, seen it!“ A ritual that repeated itself every year on my doorstep, and which took me three years to experience once. How could this be?! I was speechless and irritated. Then I understood: It could be, because my reference sizes and those of the remaining Gassigeher were completely different. My reference value was the change of day and night in its change over the year. I would never have thought of walking our dog in the pitch dark. Neither did our dog, and we did it (or didn’t do it) without thinking about it. The reference point of the other walkers was the clock. Eighteen o’clock. An irrevocable deadline. If the world does not play along, then I equip myself with enormous LED lamps and turn night into day. Illuminate the dog and myself as well and – barely seeing anything – make my rounds. A sacred time. The fixed 24-hour rhythm counts. Not the naturally changing rhythm of day and night, which should actually be much closer to us as beings.

The 24-hour rhythm is always the same over the year and people are chased through it as if they were also always the same over the year. No matter if their body should rest more in winter. No matter what their body and soul rhythm tells them. No matter if the ratios of day and night have shifted. Consistent function – consistent throughout the year. Eight o’clock start of work. Summer and winter. Whether it is still dark outside or not….

I remember exactly how long it took our dog to realize that we were going to leave the house despite an impending rain. For this animal, „getting wet“ was synonymous with staying wet, freezing miserably for days and nights, not feeling warm for days, having trouble or not being able to sleep, getting sick. Suffering like a dog! „If you can already smell the rain, why on earth don’t you stay at home? Are people all completely crazy? Where have I got to? Don’t they know the least thing!!!“ It took a long time for our dog to realize that „getting wet“ has lost its terror and he always returns to the beautiful human home and he always returns to a warm human fire where he can comfortably warm up under a human blanket.

The animal has learned over time that humans can override certain natural factors. It is good that we can do this. It’s good that we – figuratively speaking – as Prometheus stole fire from the gods. But it’s also not good sometimes. I feel that too many natural factors are overridden by us. So many that the good that seems to come to us as a result is only apparent. I believe that sometimes it would be better to submit to a whole set of natural factors, because the good that comes to our body and soul as a result is so much greater. – I observed the 6 p.m. phenomenon one more time. This time it was summer. I was walking along said field at 8 pm. It was wonderfully warm and the setting sun was drawing beautiful colors in the light clouds in the sky. Colors that one could not paint, so unreal and beautiful they were. – – And I was alone. There was no one left to share this sight with me and to rejoice in the beauty of creation. At a moment when one could have felt the unity with this creation. If only this spectacle had kept to the unalterable 18 o’clock appointment….

Pain must never be allowed to guide us. Our actions grow out of the fearless knowledge of our security in the meaning, of our soulfulness and of the eternal unity of everything. We always act in love for everything and everyone. There is no inner separation. Pain alone must never guide us.

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