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Love and Light Within You

Always look for the gold within

Orb of golden light from setting sun emerging through karri trees. Green grass in foreground.
Golden sunlight pouring through the trees near the track to Evergreen. It's a reminder of the gold within you. Photo by Rob.

Did you know that you have the gold of light and love within you?

My maternal grandfather, Frederick Western, was a gold miner in Reedy, Western Australia in the 1930s. Gold had been discovered there in 1899 by Mr Reedy, hence the name of the town.


I don’t know whether my grandfather owned a mine claim or worked for a company, but I do know my mother and her three siblings spent their early years living in a hut with bag walls and a dirt floor while their dad fossicked for gold in the red dirt of Reedy.


Mum told us that when Aboriginals walked past in the distance, Grandma would stick a rifle out of the hole in the wall where a window should be, to warn them off. But they weren’t interested in a hut made of bags, or bits of gold dust. They were tracking across the land like they had for centuries, their feet feeling the hum of the earth.


I imagine Grandma putting the rifle down when they were out of sight, rubbing her eyes from the dust and glare, and wishing things were different: a house with flywire at the windows; lino on the floor; enough water to sustain a few trees and a flower garden; more gold in Frederick’s pocket, more coins in her purse.


By the time I visited Reedy in 2001, the gold had run out and it was a ghost town. The ruins of several houses were slowly sinking into the sand and rusty sheets of iron flapped and groaned in the wind. The bag walls that protected my mother’s family from sandstorms were long gone.


The Gold Within


Many towns around the world owe their existence to what are termed gold rushes. We rush to where gold can be found because we want to be rich. This is understandable. Most of us want a roof over our heads, food on the table, and some money left over for a few luxuries. 


However, in our life of rushing to find “gold”, we forget about the ever-present gold within all of us.


In her book, Trusting the Gold: Learning to Nurture Your Inner Light, internationally known meditation teacher, Tara Brach, tells a story about a statue of the Buddha in Bangkok, Thailand that began to crack.

When some monks arrived to investigate, they shined a flashlight into the largest of the cracks. What they saw surprised everyone. Deep under the gray clay was the gleam of gold.


The pure gold statue of the Buddha had been covered by plaster and clay for hundreds of years. This had been done to protect it from invading armies, and everyone who knew this had died before passing on the information. So the grey statue was accepted for what it seemed to be – a conventional gray statue.

Love and Light Within You


Brach went on to write that we are like that statue. As we grow up, we cover ourselves to protect ourselves from the slings and arrows of life. And after a while, we forget that we have within us, hidden by layers of self-preservation, the gold we are. She refers to this gold as:

the light and love of our true nature.


Reading this reminded me of a quote I copied from a book I was browsing while waiting for the dentist to call my name. It was in M.H. Clark’s Today, Tomorrow & Every Day: Thoughts On Living a Brave and Real and Gorgeous Life:


She found she was bigger and more wonderful than she had imagined.


Don’t turn yourself into a grey slab of cement.


Crack open the hard casing of self-preservation you’ve coated yourself with.


Find the gold within.

Let it shine.


With love, Marlane

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