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Running With the Unknown: Equinoctial Musings

In this time of the Autumnal Full Moon, the moon of harvest, the moon of balance, the moon of change, I think upon not only all the harvests, great and small, but the sacrifices made for both the sowing and the reaping, the vows made, and broken, and kept. I think on all the parts of our lives that have brought us to this point in space and time… I think on fear, on joy, on courage, and on sorrow. I think of the laughter bubbling from your lips, and the tears springing to your eyes. I think on missiles sleeping in their concrete beds, and apples hanging ripe upon the boughs. I think on all of these, and more.

Yesterday, I reclaimed a part of my ancestry by learning to run barefoot on grass, dodging sprinkler heads, small children, dogs, and rocks. Our teacher pointed out that running is basic human activity. I have always hated it, and yet, freed from the encasing bonds of shoes, knees springing upward, breath exhaling in short bursts, I saw that somewhere in my body, I remembered. I remembered this freedom, this working of muscle in a natural way, this ability… And, being who I am, it brought to mind all the other things we humans have forgotten, whether buried from our childhoods, or from still more distant past, when humans moved across endless savannahs or on Northern mountaintops. Yesterday helped bring my body more toward balance: not only the balancing of heart, and lungs, and sinew, but the balancing of past toward present, and therefore, present toward future.

That balancing is the root of spiritual quest, and the questing of psychology, mythology, philosophy, and physics. The old tales tell us of our battle with this balance, of our fear of either past, present, or future. And yet, the Norns spin on, and galaxies unfold as does our turning DNA.

Humanity has sacrificed so much, and gained in equal measure. Sometimes we try to bind the future, and sometimes we get bitten. Sometimes we tie up uncertainty, to hold it in its place, and other times step forward in our courage, knowing risk is nigh. Sometimes we even do these simultaneously. Sometimes the wolf within is not dead, but only sleeping, and sometimes Tyr’s hand reaches much further than it did when we felt whole, before we put our hand into the jaws of the unknown. And yet, that unknown calls from the shadows of the past and the glimmering of future. The unknown is also knocking at the door of now. Shall we answer? Shall we step up? Shall we make sacred our memory, our hope, our breath, and beating heart? Shall we hold out a hand in promise?

When we sacrifice – make sacred -– something is both broken and then mended, something is bound, and something is set free. What is the gainful harvest from both of these? What shall we reclaim, and what shall we allow, finally, to rest? Shall we keep a promise to ourselves, to keep showing up, again and again? Don’t get me wrong, sometimes this process of sacrifice, of planting, of praying, and of harvest feels very complex and dangerous. Other times it is so simple and basic, we barely notice. Like yesterday: somewhere in my past, I made a soul’s promise to keep learning, to keep integrating, to keep moving toward full health, so yesterday I showed up and engaged in an activity I would have told you I loathed. I sacrificed the part of my personality that thinks it knows in order to take on a teaching – this helped me connect to my body, my ancestors, and the self that will keep running up that hill. There were gifts in this activity beyond the physical: some piece of my humanity came back to me; a part of me that thought it knew was proven wrong; a struggle I did not even know I had became quiescent. This autumn-tide, what part of self, of history, of ancestral body, shall you take a risk to reclaim – be it large or small – knowing that upon every harvest, and with each planting, we can run with the unknown?

A joyous, and thoughtful harvest moon to you all. Good running, good hunting, good gathering, and a great measure of laughter.

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