The other morning I stood in the crisp, early air of February, in the freshness of the dawning light, and knew without question the ecstatic and complex glory of my very simple life. The day was bursting forward without temerity or hesitancy. The sky surrounding me held an eternity of the beginning and ending moments of creation. Over my right shoulder was a ball of blazing, red fire harkening the genesis of what was yet to be. Over my left shoulder in the deep, azure space just above the horizon sat a sliver of moon hanging onto the last, stolen secrets of the night before.
In one moment I felt infinitely small as I recognized my place between these two celestial orbs, and yet so grand because I was privileged to be suspended and cradled between these cosmic lights. In the blink of an eye I was embraced by ancient energy reminding me what it means to be a child of the universe, a daughter of Earth, a member of my cosmic family.
Here were my two cosmic parents sitting over each shoulder protecting me, cherishing me, loving me, whispering in my ears to remember… remember who and what you are. A remembering that holds no words, a remembering that will be lost as quickly as it comes. A remembering that opens me to the sheer joy of belonging to the beloved whose touch makes me quiver. A remembering that humbles me with awe and wonder, with the knowing I have never been here before, and I will never be here again.
With every breath in I was more alive than the moment before. And with every breath out I rested in a peace that held a depth and breadth I had never known. This beauty could only be known through my pausing, by surrendering to a greater good, and in listening to a truth I can never explain.
The irony of this morning, which held two of the greatest moments we can ever know – one where we are nothing and the other where we are everything – was that it happened without plan, without conscious thought. It happened because for so long I have been engaged in the practice of being present to my life. When I deliberately look and listen to life around me I discover a harmony within myself. I find my place in the world as I awaken to each moment, each experience, whether through tears of laughter, or tears filled with tormenting pain.
I know it’s not always easy to stop. Sometimes I can slow down my body, yet my mind and emotions are careening wildly into unknown places that will eventually put my body on anxious high alert. Some days I mindlessly swallow food as I contemplate my to-do lists for the days that haven’t even arrived yet! Other days I fill my calendar so that I am in motion from sunup to sundown, because if I stop moving, I might have to feel the pain of yesterday when you turned away from me because you had forgotten we belong to each other, needing of each other’s light for our journey.
I do wake up though – no matter how distracted I may be or how afraid I am that you will never turn back toward me. This yearning to awaken, to be aware, is fed in those moments when I intentionally pause throughout my day, or in moments when the world ambushes me on a cold February morning through the power of the sun and the moon.
I like being held captive by the magnificent death and rebirth of these celestial guardians in front me. There’s an expansive, flowing freedom unfolding that also brings intense clarity and focus. Whenever I allow myself to be enveloped by a moment, and put on the skin of creation, I sense my vital essence in its totality, all by itself, and am filled with gratitude.
And in the blink of an eye, that solitary essence taps me on the shoulder – as one might do while dancing in order to “cut in” – bows to me, and extends a hand to invite me into the collective dance we call life. All I need to do is humbly bow in return – which is my pause – step forward in surrender, and grasp the cosmic hands waiting to enchant me yet again. Hands that are the cosmic custodians desiring to protect me, cherish me, love me, and whisper in my ears yet again, “remember…”