The moon has been vying for center stage lately. The official full moon for September is Monday, the 12th. It has been my new best friend, waking me up in the middle of the night just because it can.
Moonlight both ignites my sense of awe and quiets my spirit. If I’ve been moving too fast, it slows me down. If I’ve been out of step, its presence whispers a wake-up call to come back home to a more wholehearted way of being. Lately, it is the simple pleasures that I am seeking.
My youngest daughter, Sara, is visiting. It was over a year ago that she left her home in New Zealand and went to Indonesia to do volunteer work in the Mentawai Islands, where the earthquake and tsunami hit.
I am singing a different song today but here was my state of mind before she left for Indonesia. “I am in the painful process of letting go, which is to weather through the dire warnings of terrorist attacks, kidnappers, malaria, tuberculosis, and rabid dogs that roam the streets.” This is a small glimpse into the angst that I was experiencing at that time.
Today is the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I remember facing the daunting task of writing my column at that time. Sara was in college at Columbia University in New York. Here is a glimpse into the raw jumble of thoughts and feelings from that time.
Today I am required to reach into myself to find a centered place from which to write. The place I took for granted last week no longer exists and the task of writing today is looming large. It feels like, at best, I am standing shakily on one foot, hardly a place that engenders the familiarity of my ordinary grounding.
One part of me wants to withdraw under the covers until some normalcy surfaces. I have so many questions and so few answers.
I want to wear red, white and blue and meld into being a ‘patriotic American’. Then I cringe at the ‘we’ll smoke them out, hunt them down and kill them’ mentality. My mother’s heart shrinks back from the notion of more dead bodies and grieving, shattered lives across the globe.
Do I vote for no action? No. War? No. Spout platitudes and naïve posturing? No. Nothing feels acceptable in the good guy, bad guy, grab bag that is held out before us.
I wish that I could bring together all the 7-year-olds of the world and borrow their new eyes to discover what they see and feel and what experiences envelope them daily. What would they communicate that would give us each a glimpse of the life experiences they are presently living as a result of our combined actions to date…
My vision is always colored by my mother’s heart. It stubbornly feels, no matter how much logic it is fed, that my children started nestled under my heart, therefore, their pain affects me. My challenge is always to respect their right to make their own life choices now that they are adults.
My current responsibility at this stage of my life is to become more awake and aware, to continue to mature emotionally and to integrate the knowledge I accumulate into active ways of showing up in the world.
It is a given that my heart wants all my loves safe from all harm. Since new life opportunities for us all flow from the twisting and turning round new corners, it is impossible to keep change at bay.
In honor of the gifts from September’s full moon, I am taking this time to quiet down and come home to myself so that I can greet whatever challenges life brings with a restored peace of mind and clarity of heart.