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Easing the Journey Through Shadow & Light

  • Dawn

Let the Lynx Come In

Anti-Anxiety Tool of the Week: Palm icons

Decide on some very simple figure or symbol that has a positive supportive meaning for you: emotional, inspirational and/or archetypal. It could be a basic heart shape, the outline of an animal, tree, mountain or sunrise, or a religious symbol. Or anything that is meaningful to you, and very simple to draw.

Pause for a moment. Muse on the ways this icon inspires and touches you. Now slowly...very gently...mindfully, draw your icon on the palm of your hand with your finger. Pause for a few moments. Be aware of any physical or emotional sensations that may come with this process.

If you want, you can draw the same thing on the other palm. Then hold your hands together, as in prayer. Or just stay still and continue to experience the sensations.

Given the exquisite sensitivity of the hand, this can be quietly but surprisingly profound, like gentle reverberations of a stringed instrument, carrying the meaning of your icon deeper into your body and soul.

Let the Lynx Come In

I stumbled across a wonderful picture book a number of years ago, Let the Lynx Come In, by Jonathan London (Candlewick Press,1996). I don't even remember where it came from, but it's become one of my favorites.

Picture books, the best ones, are amazing feats of poetry. They tell stories--and often a rip-roaring ones--in just a few words (405 in this case). In the best ones, words and pictures dance in a synchronicity of beauty and meaning. Or sometimes just plain fun.

Note: This book is out of print but (as of today) is available through secondhand booksellers Alibris and Abebooks.

Let the Lynx Come In is the story of a young boy who has reluctantly accompanied his dad to a cabin in the far North, in the middle of winter where, as he says, "I've never been before."

His dad falls asleep by the warm potbellied stove, but the boy is nervous about the wild animals that might be stalking around outside. Yet when he hears scratching at the door, he opens it...just tiny bit.

And in comes a lynx, which "stands still as a stone, quiet as an owl." Then it grows and grows until "its whiskers touch the walls." Commanded by the silence of what is now Great Lynx, the boy grabs "fistfuls of fur" and scrambles up to ride on its huge back. And then, somehow, they are outside and Great Lynx is moving. "If I cry," says the boy, "my tears will turn to ice."

Great Lynx leaps across a frozen river. Steps across glittering snow, stalking some invisible thing. We climb a ridge of ice and there it is.

Great Lynx stops and crouches. Together we watch the dance of the northern lights.

All of a sudden Great Lynx vaults onto the curtain of light "in an explosion of snow" and claws its way "up and up" to the moon, the boy clinging desperately to its fur.

But when they finally make it to the moon, the boy says, "I’m filled with stars and moonlight. Great Lynx purrs, and if I could, I would purr too."

The boy, now tired, wants to go home so Great Lynx "ripples down the curtain," leaves the boy at the cabin, and shrinks back to normal size.

The potbelly’s still chugging. My dad’s still snoring. I curl up and gaze at the fire.

As I close my eyes and sink into sleep I say…

“Let the lynx come in.”

And the lynx sleeps curled in my dream like the moon.

Oh, those last two lines...

They may even be a partial answer to a question I raised in last week's Eyes of the Wild blog:

"Can we find a way to live with our wild sisters and brothers?"

If we let in their silence...their calls...their beauty. If we allow the mystery and power of their snow and their winter moons, the wildness of their eyes, and the great warm animals themselves, to sleep curled in our dreams, then perhaps we can learn to love them enough that we can live with them in relative peace.

Until next time,


Photo credits:

Hands, Liane Metzer, unSplash

Bookcover, D. Hunt

Lynx on snow, Zdenek Machacek, unSplash

Northern lights, Lucas, Marcomini, unSplash

Lynx face, Meg Jerrard, unSplash

Moon-snow-trees, Vitalii Bashkatove, Shutterstock

Daffodil buds, Ralph Katieb, unSplash

P.S. Spring is coming...



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