This morning, pale light shining in the darkness of the living room drew me west in my home, instead of east where I usually do my morning sitting practice, exercise, and altar work. I looked to the deep blue sky slowly lightening to turquoise, and there was the moon – gibbous, on the wane from full – peaking through the branches of the tall sycamore. Instead of going to my altar for my usual morning practices, I decided to make a cup of tea and do some moon gazing first.
Communing with the moon, I heard the rattling of bottles and saw a man with his cart, collecting recycling. This caused me to wonder if our housemate had remembered to take down our bottles. Back into the kitchen I went, gathering the bottles to take out into the cool morning air, saying, “Excuse me!” The man stopped and came toward me, proffering his plastic bag to receive the glass.
He rattled away, about his business. I went back to the moon.
There are always things occurring that we are not waiting for. When we open to the unexpected, to some measure of spaciousness and listening, we make connections that help us to deepen. These shift something in our hearts and souls. Even if it is only for a second in the midst of some task like getting the kids off to school, rushing to finish a paper for class, or hurrying back from lunch, if we can pause internally, sometimes a tugging will say to us, “Look here!” or “Listen!”
Open to the voice that spoke beneath my ability to consciously hear, this morning I turned west instead of east, and found the moon, a beacon, a benediction, a bright thing enjoining me to take a moment and notice something new. My day will go differently because of that moon, and I was already gifted with an encounter I would not have otherwise had. Our lives can be full of the same things, over and over, and those simple things are helpmeets, if we notice them. But all too often, we allow them to become a wash, a backdrop, neither seen nor heard, just there. Until they aren’t. Sometimes we miss them, and other times, we just notice that something in life is slightly more irritating than before, but we’re not sure why.
Today, can you slow down with me for at least one moment? Can you draw a breath who’s inhalation and expulsion requires at least six seconds in its cycling? Recall your feet upon the ground, and notice the stillness at your core. In this moment, what is in front of you? What asks you to listen? What enjoins you to look up instead of down, or left instead of right? Can you allow yourself a moment to hear and see?
We don’t know what we’ll encounter. That’s a good thing. The universe is filled with surprises, gifts of earth and air, of someone needing help, or the morning moon offering a new perspective: yes, we are grounded on this planet, and together, we also tilt in space, reflecting beautiful light.