When you see these photos of the celebrations in India and elsewhere in the world…you see people covered (drenched?) in a crazy array of colored powders….Like walking decorated Easter eggs but with powders rather than liquid dyes. The photos depict the air thickened with these colored powders and people exuberant and ecstatic.
You might say or think….oh that is primitive and unsophisticated and dare we say uneducated behavior…..but at our very core, our most basic self….we always long for the good, the warmth, the nourishment, the joy of light overcoming our own darkness, our own fears, our own concerns….so we, too, celebrate……
My son, Andy, as a small child…maybe three years old…went through a phase where if I had gone out for the evening he would climb out of bed and sleep at the top of the stairs…waiting for me to come home. Even though I always did…still…his primal brain, his primitive self-preserving Self..was uncertain….and even though very sleepy he would wake when I came home with such sweetness… groggy…..yet reassured, happy and joyful.
The Holi celebration is like this….we are waiting and waiting for the darkness to turn back to light….for the seemingly not present gifts of Grace to reappear into our awareness.
The Holi holiday has its roots in the primitive and the tribal….you could say the primordial part of our social, collective brain. The sun’s warmth disappeared, the nights are long and spring has been swallowed by winter or rains….Will it return? Will the warmth and exuberance of the spring (Vishnu’s season of sustaining us)…return to love us again, to grace us with abundance? So they tell myths of good conquering evil….and celebrate…or let’s say invite and invoke the brilliant colorful array of springs’ exuberance by wildly and playfully pouring and showering each other with color.
It is in our essence, our very core…to long for the LOVE the PRANA that life offers….to celebrate its riot of gifts in all its forms…especially, it seems the brilliant rebirth of Spring…. With the color and texture of our breath and the expressiveness of our asana and mantra…we can celebrate the always returning and supporting PRANA….life’s gifts that sustain us. Happy Holi!
Written by friend & yoga teacher, Susann Spilkin