May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out. – J.R.R. Tolkien
This morning I was awakened by moonglow. Pulling back the curtains not only shined a light into my dark room but into my heart as well. The moon, like a radiant pearl, illuminated the midnight blue sky. The black silhouettes before me were nothing more than paper cutouts. While my mind attended to the multiple realities of waking/dreaming/sleeping, my spirit soared from the inner darkness into the light. Fierce winds rattled the windows and shook the roof. Nonetheless, I followed a trail of moonbeams to the shore. My goal was to take photos of the bright moon out over the ocean, but nature had other plans.
The baby bat / Screamed out in fright, / Turn on the dark, / I’m afraid of the light. – Shel Silverstein
As I hopped into my thermal underwear, I checked the weather and the tides. The weather radar showed no clouds on the horizon. Minutes later, as I pulled onto the beach, that was proven to be untrue. The moon had just stepped behind a cloud as if yanking on its robe. I managed a quick peek before it demurely ran away. Gale force winds blew from the northwest to southeast, the clouds raced from southwest to northeast, as the ocean endlessly rolled west to east. I faced the brightening day with hope. Several times the glory of the moonlight walked past the cloudy curtain. Each fleeting glance shorter than the preceding one. At last I leapt from the car and received a spoonful of grit in my teeth for a final one second glimpse.
I cheered myself up by watching seagulls flying backwards as they negotiated their landings. I was not disappointed for long, as the clouds the radar could not see opened up and poured icy rain. For all our technological advances predicting the weather is still just that – a prediction – a forecast. Content to just be out of the rain, I thought about how we try to forecast the near future every day. But there are always forces beyond our control like clouds on the horizon. For the rest of this day, however, I am going to be as cautious as possible. Tomorrow I get the second dose of Covid vaccine. And I don’t want anything to interfere with that.
For the past six months of quarantine, nature has been my sanctuary. I’ve wandered along the solitary beach and been serenaded by songbirds outside my window. Grand parades of clouds have marched overhead accompanied by sublime sonatas rustling through the trees. Through the window, glorious fresh perfumed breezes brush my face as I paint and write. Half a year has passed with my only living companions being a few plants in the window, the world outside and occasional voices over the phone/internet. So I chase after rainbows and moonbeams, sunrises and sunsets. I have left a half million or more footprints in the sand and taken thousands of photos. Along with over a dozen paintings, I’ve written a novel, nearly one hundred blog posts and more. But I cannot truly forecast how these months will follow me into the future.
It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but that you are a conductor of light. – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Some teachers will tell you the answers you seek lie within; look inside yourself to discover the Universe. But that is only partially true. After finding that light within, you have to be willing to then turn around and shine that light into the darkness around you. Just as the moon reflects the dazzling sun, you must mirror the marvelous for others. Tomorrow afternoon I will joyfully experience a metaphysical sunrise on the rest of my life. I am reminded of that old poster – Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Let your light shine all around.