The test comes when it starts to get dark, and you know it will not get light again.
This thought you heard or read somewhere surfaces like flotsam from the far back recesses of your mind. Continuing down the brick paved path in the misty evening rain, that darkness does seem to be starting to fall upon you.
The wet leaves lap at your skin as you stray off the road into the barely existent path ambling off into the cedars. The trees become closer and closer spaced until it’s apparent that there is no longer a path and it’s only you and the cicadas in your own private umbral grotto of trees. Feeling the heat rising from the volcanic spring you stand there on the rocky edge and remove your sandals and reverently place them aside, as if you’re about to enter someone’s home. The water comes out of the ground black, filled with minerals and long disintegrated ancient matter of plants and animals. The chatter of the invisible insects in the woods around you is sure deafening. You lay your head back against the soft-edged bank and stare above at the stars.
The clouds then settle firmly over your mind and heart and you now know that the darkness is rooted in place. In your meditation, both question and answer come forth unified:
If not here, then somewhere else, somehow else.