Last night, outside with the dogs for the last time, I looked up and through the trees the moon was glowing as if the trees branches were meant to be the frame for the lovely lunar Goddess. I took a few shots and after spending a while longer outside, my nightly investigations of the woods and the cottage garden seemingly sleeping, all the while things are poking their heads through the earth and wonders are going on deep down in places we cannot see, I called the dogs and we came inside.
After settling the 4 pugs around me with tiny Delilah pug in my lap I opened up the pictures and was awestruck. They were eery. Something in me felt unsettled, and at the same time there was something familiar about this photograph. When I realized what it was I just sat staring at it for a very long time. It looks, to me, like photographs of an eyeball, the veins showing, the inside of the eye that we never see except in images at the eye doctor.
But then I had a visceral jolt. It is true that everything in the cosmos mirrors everything else, that we are all one. To many this will sound like new age mumbo jumbo, but one moment under the moon convinced me otherwise.
One moment under the moon and I felt connected to everyone and everything all over the earth. We share one moon. We write poems about it, watch it rise at night and fade in the early morning hours, we watch it’s phases. The moon effects the tides of the ocean and those in a woman’s body and women who live collectively in a household, a college dorm, or a tribe often come “into their moon” at the same time.
One moment under the moon and I felt seen, and known, and loved.
People ask me if I am not afraid to spend so much time out alone at night in my woods, as though anyone might ever be alone at night in nature. The dogs are around me checking out every smell, the cicadas sing their song, a bat swoops through the air, the moon herself lights the yard enough to walk around comfortably without a flashlight. And the trees are always there. I leaned against a tree to shoot photos. It held me up and I rested against it and let the night air settle on my skin. It feel cool and moist against my face. It had been raining earlier and now the air felt dewy and fresh.
I laid my head back against the rough bark of the tree and gazed up at the amazing moon, so perfectly posed between the high branches of the trees in my woods it felt as though she were waiting for me to come and take the pictures. I whispered “Thank you” and then moved off quietly to investigate the other wonders of the night.
Dewdrops clung to tall leaves of grass. The spidery fragile vines of the clematis climb up through this tree that I love so dearly, having a rest now during winter before a glorious showing of small, waxy, vanilla scented blossoms that will fill the tree, intermingled with the rose growing alongside, up, and through it. This one tree is a very active place come spring. It is a towering tree that splits almost in two about head level to me, it’s giant branches reaching high up into the sky in opposite directions. I have a very old iron trellis tied to the tree to support the clematis and come spring the fragrance and beauty will be over-powering. The tree and I have a deep friendship. It’s craggy bark drilled through with holes all over from one of the multitudes of woodpeckers that are here tell many stories. A kind of braille you can read with your eyes closed moving fingers lightly over the bark. I have read ancient tales that are not meant to be told, and I carry them with me silently in my heart.
I left the world and came to this place to live a life of solitude for many reasons but one very important one is that I cannot bear to be with people who drive in fast cars past acres of trees cut down to the ground for one more subdivision never realizing what a tragedy has taken place. I came to these woods to fall in love with them, to commune with them, to talk to them without words. I have come to let all of the places inside of me that closed down tight from too many assaults in the world open slowly, and gently, supported by the natural world, and even lichen and moss growing on fallen trees and rotting wood are my companions. The trees shield me, protect me, and hide me, and I stand in defense of them. No one will harm these trees. My trees frame the moon so that I might see, more clearly, the beauty and the magic that she is, and in nature I know my own body better, and settle more comfortably into this vessel I live in on earth. I have never been comfortable in it. Here, I am learning how to love my full round body, I am making a home in my own body here, too.
Yesterday was one of the hard days. I seldom leave my house but, finally, yesterday I had to. I put it off and put it off until the last minute but the car had to be inspected, and I had to buy groceries. I took medication to make the trip out. I took a book and sat in a corner of the waiting room for over an hour wondering if I could bear the wait, and finally, the last one in the waiting room, I relaxed a little. I left there and went to the grocery store, and I was so uneasy by then I moved quickly and got a few things, forgetting half of what was on my list. When I got home I left the groceries in the car in the garage and came in to the dogs going crazy all around me, calling out to them “Mommy’s home!” as I do and we cling together and love one another and head outside. It was not yet dark and I was shaking. I leaned against my tree, the one with the clematis and the roses, and held on. A tear ran down my cheek and fell onto the bark, and was absorbed quickly. I needed to let the energy from the world outside of this place fall away from me, and the tree absorbed it while at the same time filling me with a peaceful calm so that I could breathe again, and go back inside to feed the dogs and fetch the groceries.
By the time I went outside to take these pictures I was at peace again, the long full day had left me drained, but one moment under the moon and I was restored in a way one never can be inside, or with other people. Nature absorbs the negative energy and recharges us with a natural grace. This land is my salvation, the solitude, the silence, my companions.
One moment under the moon and I knew I was home again. One moment and I felt the infinite grace that is all around me every day, the grace that supports me, directs me, connects me with God and all that is holy in this place. One moment under the moon, last night, was a holy sacrament given and received. I came in filled with the gift of her grace. I came in full of love and filled with thanksgiving. One moment under the moon and I was healed…