It is five in the morning, I sit perched upon my bed, a writer’s roost to bask in the moon’s glow. I breathe quietly into the layered silence that emanates, filling the space with expansive questioning. My moon effulgence is sweet, yet, I know it is fleeting. Already sounds of traffic encroach upon the scene, foreboding the ticking time bomb we title reality.
I allow my gaze to partake of the sparkling moon dust that skitters across the hushed pond. All lights, except for the dimmed computer screen are extinguished. Maybe I can somehow prolong the radiance, delay the initiation of the emerging sun. Can I hold my breath, pull the chord that entangles the moon, beseech it to stay perched for my eye to see and my heart to feel?
I suppose she may wish to rest, to rejuvenate for her next rising. Taking her turn in the celestial dance, being careful to not overstay her welcome. I am charmed by her mysterious illumination, never does she fear the dark, instead she welcomes it like a cloak of glad tiding.
She accepts that often she is unnoticed, a mere sliver in the sky, bashful in her monthly cycle. Once upon a time we honored her, knowing that her waltz in the galaxy was as important as the suns tango and the rains boogie, all essential in the abundance promenade.
I sit now enveloped in the complete emptiness of her departure. Silently she slipped away, no bravado goodbye, just a quiet last wink to those who glanced her way. I hold that gesture as I rise like the sun into the manmade chaos. It’s my glowing reminder in the anarchy of human civilization that all is impermanent, fleeting, a mere glint in infinite darkness.
A moon bath caressed me into this day. I lathered and washed infusing my skin with her radiant energy. Armoring myself against the onslaught of human preoccupation, the ignorant forgetfulness that we are an intrinsic part of the whole.
Thank you moon glow, your touch has lifted me. I shall not forsake your gift, nor ignore your virtues.
As discussion begins to formulate around going back to work, I find myself in deep reflection. What did I learn about myself during this time? How do I feel as I stare down the barrel of returning to the 9-5 game established in this society?
My family and friends would easily share with you that I have never been very good at staying within the lines of “societal expectations”. Since I was a child there is a different drum that beats in my heart, like a far off voice, it beckons me to follow my heart’s desire, or as Joseph Campbell’s famous quote wisely shares, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
What a tightrope tap dance it has been for me. Like doing the “Hokey Pokey” I sometimes put my little foot in, however, more often I am yanking it out quickly, fearing it will get sucked into the quick sand of society. So many times along this journey I have quietly wished that I could be “content” with the cookie cutter society we’ve established, “just “Baaa…” along Fawn, follow the flock, be happy with what is, stop walking off the path,” I whisper to myself. The voice of “reason,” as some would call it, became even louder when I brought children into this world. In reflection, I wonder at moments, what if, I had chosen a path more in line with my values, like the movie “Captain Fantastic”. Of course part of my dream involved not doing it alone, I wished for that partner who also desired a sustainable life upon the land. Sooo.., I gave up on that dream, or better stated, I put it on the shelf where it has collected dust and cobwebs for years.
This unexpected time to truly just be with myself and my children has graced me with the opportunity to dust off the values and characters on the shelf; informing the spiders that they will no longer keep them company. In complete honesty, I started to dig into the protected chambers of my heart and soul when my son left for college three years ago, for his his sister was not far behind him. What did I desire for my second half of life? Where did I wish to live? Create, share, explore..? That time is now!
Pulling out my tightrope dancing shoes, gathering my dusted off values, passions and dreams I sit down to visit. Like grass erupting through concrete, the lusted for aspirations blossom anew. Pulling out pen and paper, my forever best friends, I make a list. What did I love about this “stay at home” time?
I loved not commuting to work.
I relished the quietness, listening to the layers of silence as they expanded.
I fell in love all over again with putting words to page, allowing my muse to dictate the flow.
I joyously celebrated the dream to “work & live” in the same place.
My body, mind and spirit relaxed into the beautiful simplicity, the washing away of chaos, stress and worry.
I celebrated the chance to only let in what inspired me, stirred my desires and ignited my passions.
Relishing the completely present time with my children, sharing meal creations, conversations, movies, games and walks.
Letting my body move without an alarm clock or tight schedule.
Sinking more deeply into the grace that nature offers in her infinite wisdom.
The gift to stay away from the chaos of the city, keeping my distance from the negative energy created by stress and angst.
The chance to play with new ideas, free of demands and interruption.
Allowing my quiet introverted soul to breathe deeply, embracing the peace that always is…
What did my list tell me? Certainly I can go back to “normal”, get back on the merry go round of commuting, punching in and out on the time clock, maintain a home, car, blah, blah, blah… Or I could begin to seriously listen to that far off voice. Encouraging the whispers of my heart and soul to rise in serenade, to crescendo into the new future.
I am curious, as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 phenomena,
What are you learning about yourself?
What is important?
What are your desires and dreams?
Do you want to go back to normal?
Were you happy?
Is this a new opportunity?
A chance to reflect, dust off forgotten wishes?
I shall conclude today with another powerful quote from Joseph Campbell –
“We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.”
During this unique time in our world I hear and read everywhere the desire to return to normal. It’s as though people are holding their breath because the air presently available is foul and encroaching on life as we know it.
As I lay in bed last night, watching the bright moon glow, I found myself contemplating,
Why are we waiting?
Why do we want to return to what was?
What if there is actually a new world that awaits us with positive changes?
What if this is a rare opportunity not a curse?
I do experience that people enjoy a routine. They like familiar and predictable. I am guilty of liking some simple routines myself, such as journaling every morning, the way I have started my day for over thirty years. I also relish my warm cup of Jasmine Green tea that accompanies my pen and paper in the quiet dawning. I love walking in the grace and splendor of the natural world, to feel my body flow with the rhythm of nature’s song. Yes, I have my daily pleasures that make my heart smile…
I can honestly say though, that I often query with my heart, soul and mind – “Does this daily habit serve me? Is it helping me to co-create a more joyful expansive life?” If that search uncovers that I am doing it for others, because I “should” (yuck), or to meet some outside expectation that I do not care about, then I stop and let it go. This is a constant dance of reflective exploring, an aspect of life that morphs as I grow.
As I journaled this morning, it struck me like a lightning bolt – “What if it is not about WAITING! Instead, it is a glorious chance to learn how to BE. Maybe for the first time in your life you get to just BE. Feeling into the rich expansive layers of who you are. Taking this time to explore the nooks and crannies of your intimate heart, soul, and quieted mind.
Throughout my life journey most of the people I meet do not want to sit in their own quiet. They do not want to be still, to hear the silence, feel their own heartbeat. When I broach the subject of just BEing, I am jolted by the fear and discomfort that presents itself. This saddens me, for only in the quiet space can the inner self have a chance to bubble up, the unexplored dreams surface and the hidden desires show up in technicolor.
Yesterday on my walk, I sat by the river watching freshly released seed pods float by, like watching the flames of a campfire, I was transfixed by their tango upon the water. A pair of osprey serenaded, dancing upon the wind currents of a cloudless azure sky. To complete the perfect setting, vivid green willow buds burst upon the exquisite scene. I welcomed the serenity, breathing it in with momentous gratitude. I allowed myself to float in the sweet reverie, grateful to Just BE…
Today I invite you to BE, allow yourself the grace to feel, breathe deep, listen to your inner being, ponder the thoughts that drift up out of the quiet internal space.
Of course as we know, it is always your choice. You can WAIT, hoping for change, expanding the sensation of frustration and worry OR you can open up to feel into the NOW moment, content to Just BE.
What if this time is not about Waiting, instead it is an offer to BE???…
There are two things I love to watch that bring me pure delight – dogs and children. They exhibit such innocence, internal joy, creativity, curiosity, and genuine presence. From the comfort of my home I get to watch a vast diversity of dogs with their humans enjoying the many wonders of the nature path.
Nothing makes me smile quicker than a dog merrily smelling along the trail, wagging their tail in full glee. Sometimes, it actually makes me giggle, especially when they are proudly carrying a stick as though it was the olympic torch.
Watching a small toddler stumble on wobbly legs along the path is also a treat. They are so close to the ground that they notice the small sticks, little rocks, pinecones and leaves. Put them by a pond or river and they are delighted for hours. Mesmerized by a floating leave, a skipping water bug, and the glorious objects below the waters surface.
You and I have this state of being within us. It’s still there, waiting to play. I remember when I was around five years old, I could ride my cedar tree horse for hours. Pretending to travel the world on my amazing four-legged friend. During the frigid north wood winters of Michigan I would bundle up and head outside to my “real home”, a space carved out of piles of snow. I was always a Native American woman, for they represented the life I dreamed to live. A life on the land, co-existing in harmony, with a community that worked and played together. No cars or planes, just the magnificent horse.
Hours would fly by as I pretended to feed my family on the cut out ice snow plates. Going off to sit at the campfire with friends and family. Sometimes we would dance or tell stories. Maybe it was a day I worked on hides, for our clothing, or gathered roots and herbs for our healing and cooking. I loved this imaginary world.
During the fall I lived in my pine needle house. The towering white pine behind the house would share its abundant bounty. To build my home, I would gather the brown-orange needles to create walls with space for door and windows. Later when my siblings were old enough to play, they had to follow the rules – NO stepping over or on the four inch pine needle walls. You could only walk through the doorway to enter our magnificent fragrant home. Time flew by in this make believe world.
Lying on the ground I loved to watch the clouds float past. My mind would wonder to imagining what the passing birds were saying, how did a tree feel in the wind, rain, snow, sun? What were people doing in other parts of the world? What was it like to live in a place with different animals? My mind loved to inquire, imagine and ask.
Watching a network of ants, I marveled at how organized they seemed. I imagined that our busy world must look like an ant mound from the sky. The cars zooming on highways, traveling like the ants to and fro. I actually found this comparison quite funny, for humans thought themselves so wise and ingenious, yet, ants already had it figured out. When I witnessed my first Australian termite mound I was in complete awe of this little engineer, talk about high rise!!
We were born curious. We were born believing that anything is possible. We were born full of imagination. We were born trusting and loving. We were born BEing in the moment, aware only of the NOW.
Can you remember? Oh, I sure can! When I see a dog bouncing along, I giggle with pure understanding. Watching children play with sticks in a pond always reminds me of the amazing “witch’s brew” I stirred up in mud puddles.
During this time I invite you to remember.
If you have children at home get down on the floor and play with them.
Go outside, close your eyes, take in a long slow breath and when you exhale, open your eyes with a new sense of wonder and curiosity.
Look at a nearby tree, truly see it, notice if the buds are new, or is it time for quiet hibernation.
Observe the ground, can you witness a bug on its way with important business to complete?
Did a bird fly over, or serenade you?
If you have a dog or cat, notice the world through their curious exploration.
Sit down and write about your childhood, what do you remember, what are your fondest memories, why???
You are of course free to ignore my invitation, especially if the news brings you more joy. Or maybe worrying feels good. Or stressing about “what might happen”.
I know one thing for sure – you and I each have 24 hours in our daily cycle.
How do you want to spend that time?
What will bring you joy in the midst of uncertainty?
How can you spread good vibrations?
You are at choice 😊! Personally, I love remembering and doing more of what fills my heart and soul. Who knows, maybe it will spread…