I am turning a deaf ear to the horrific news that has been permeating the air waves for months now. Not that I don’t care or have the greatest sympathy for those made to succumb to man made chaos, such as the oil spill in the Gulf and the nuclear leak in Japan, to name a few. The very sanctity of the earth is being disrupted by the powers to be and it would seem that Mother Nature herself is rebelling (rightfully so) against this total disregard for her laws. Yet, on occasion she offers a phenomenon that, if we take the time to notice, proves her power over all.
Such is the reason I headed out Saturday night to chase the moon. Having read that a “super moon” was to appear on March 20th I felt the need to be proactive—to support nature and praise it’s life- giving properties. And so, my friend Cathy and I packed up some wine and cheese and headed to the Chatham Fish Pier—an easterly point on Cape Cod– for the “promised rise”. To our surprise the place was packed with locals, equally excited to stand in bone chilling wind to “wait for the light.” The expectancy was palpable—the crowded pier heartwarming. It seemed that I wasn’t the only one craving hope in her heart.
Sure enough, some ten minutes later than predicted, there appeared a swash of pink and orange and seconds later a half circle which soon became a full blazing ball on the horizon, and voila, we had our spectacle—a giant orb, uncharacteristically huge, almost seeming out of place, the color of the sun not the moon– an upside down moment that utterly captivated.
I expected everyone to break into cheers and a round of applause, but instead the spectators were strangely silent—it was as if we were experiencing a sacred second and collectively needed to honor the inexplicable. There was no reason or justification for the moon making its closest approach to earth in 18 years—it just seemed to happen. Although much is discordant and unsteady on this earth, things in the heavens run smoothly as if by clockwork.
As I sat and relished the sight, it occurred to me that there was no controlling this occurrence, nor do we have any control over the rising sun, the tides, the seasons. We are made to accept the ebbs and flows but if we are alert and awake we must seize the day when nature presents us with visible miracles.
A strange sweet melancholy filled the car. We had both endured a tough year and in need of witnessing something bold and hopeful—to be buoyed, I suppose, before we were made to walk back into the darkness.
“Do you remember the old farmer we met on Iona last year?” I asked my friend as we sipped our wine.
“You mean the one with the white beard and dazzling blue eyes that we called the Druid?”
“Yep, him. Remember his theory about global warming—that by invading the moon back in the 60’s and stirring up all that moon dust on the surface of that sacred and important place, we somehow disrupted everything.”
As I’ve learned over the years to find solace in the natural world, this recent bold reminder affirms that even though I can’t control the chaos that abounds, just LOOKING can be a satisfying act of kindness to myself—a necessary peaceable act to keep me going. May you find such peace by simply sitting still and waiting.